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Full text of "Adventures of old Dan Tucker, and his son Walter; a tale of North Carolina"

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CJltirncll Itrtoerattg^ SItbraty 

Jt^ara, Sleui lurk 

BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME OF THE 

SAGE ENDOWMENT FUND 

THE GIFT OF 

HENRY W. SAGE 

1891 



Cornell^ University Llbra^ 



PS 3319.W3A24 

Adventures of old Dan Tucker, and 




his so 



3 1924 022 228 757 




"old WKECKS," alias CAPTAIX niCKETTS. 



ADVENTURES 



o*' 



OLD DAN TUCKER, 



HIS SON WALTER; 

A TALE OF NORTH CAROLINA. 

BY C. H.. WILEY. 

WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS, 
BY FELIX 0. C. BARLEY. 

-" Give me the broad prairie, 



Wliere man, like tlie wind, roams impulalYB and free ; 
Beliold how its beautiful colours all vary. 

Like those of the clouds or the deep-rolling sea t 
A life-tn the woods, boys, is even as changing ; 

With iproud independence we season our cheer ; 
And those who the world are for happiness ranging, 

Won't find it at all if they don't ind it here." 

Idfe in the West. By Genjbbai. Morris. 



LONDON: 
WILLOTTGHBY & CO., 22, WAEWICK LANE.! 



A ^ 4 ^ e^' 1L. 



LONPON : 
PETNTBD BY WITjl^VGHIiX & CO., 36, SMITBFIBLD. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGR. 

CHAP. T. — Capfain Richard Bicketts^-His enterprising disposition— His 
importance in Utopia . , . . .1 

CHAP. II. — The Arabs of North Carolina— Arrival of strangers in Utopia 
— Reception of Daniel Tticlcer and the " little Pocosin" . . 4 

CHAP. III. — Walter commenpes his new engagement — Utopian way of 
choosing a wife — The choice made by Captain Bicketts . , 8 

CI; AP. lY. — A ball in Utopia — Gloomy recollections at parting between 
Dan and his son WaUer— The influence of Dan's instrumental melody— 
Dr. M'Donald Ribs and Miss Polly Dawson . . .11 

CHAP. V-'-" Old Wrecks" shows that his name is appropriate — The ship, 
wreck — Tfte courage of Old Dan and the generosity of Walter — The 
passengers saved — The superstition of the sailors , . .17 

CHAP. VI. — A display of Utopian hospitality — Description of the passen- 
gers — Chester liowton excites the cariosity of the elder Tucker . 21 

CHAP. VII. — Scenes in Utopia — Dr. M'Donald Ribs in love with Alice 
Bladen — Proves himself a bad geographer — Alice becomes interested in 
Walter . . , . . . ' , 24 

CHAP. VIII. — Master round the watch-fire on the beach — Old Dan tells a 
tale — The story of Jack Hawser — Utopian sprites , . .29 

CHAP. IX.— The real Utopia— Alice Bladen and Chester Rowton — A 
little bit of philosophy, with a dash of love in it — Corporeality of Utopian 
sprites . , , . , . .35 

CHAP. X. — New Berne — Politics and woman's wiles — Lady Susannah Caro- 
lina Matilda, sister to the queen of Great Britain, and Governor Tryon — 
The assumption of royal state in New Berne — A woman's adjudication in 
a love case . . . . . .39 

CHAP. Xr. — Life in Utopia — The Doctor's devotedness to Alice— Robert 
Bladen — Speculations on the forthcoming tournament . . 26 

CHAP. XII. — A tournament in Utopia — Dr. Ribs appears in a new charac- 
ter and covers himself with anything but glory — The " little Pocosin" the 
victor — Utopia declared queen of Love and Beauty — Consternation 
among the Bankers — " Wild Bill" — Explanations and preparations — 
Migration of Captain Ricketts and his household . . .51 

CHAP. XIII. — The escape from Utopia— The "little Pocosin" conducts 
the fugitives to his father's house — Old Dan moralises . . 57 

CHAP. XIV.— The story of Old Dan Tucker . . .63 

CHAP. XV. — Mr. Zip Coon arrives on a visit to "Pocosin Dan" — Politics 
and prejudices — A war of words and a contest of sweet sounds . 68 

CHAP. XVI. — Society in New Berne in the olden time . . 71 

CHAP. XVII. — Society in New Berne continued— Old Dan and Zip Coon 
initiated into high life — Chester Rowton — Dr. Ribs again creates a sen- 
sation . • . . . . .74 

CHAP. XVI. — A conversation in the palace . . .77 

CHAP. XIX. — Walter arrives in New Berne— and excites much surprise 
from his appearance and manners— Meets with his father, old Dan, and 
Zip Coon -Walter relates the cause of his visit to New Berne— His audi- 
ence with the Governor . . . . .80 

CHAP. XX. — The grand concert — Art and nature — Dan Tucker and Zip 
Coon give offence at the concert, and are ordered to withdraw . 85 

CHAP. XXI. — Development of character — Court etiquette — A few words 
between Robert Bladen and Walter on true nobility — Walter leaves the 
court in disgust , . . . . ,89 

CHAP. XXII. — The scene shifts — A few words on the certainty of uncer- 
tainty — Utopia's alarm at the reappearance of Heatty, and her communi. 
cation . , . . . . .93 



CHAP. XXin. — A word for girlhood— TJtopia in the wilderness— Perils by 
the wav — Tlie Pocosin triainphs over the panther 

CHAP XXIV, — A surprise — Sudden appearance of Wild Bill — The merits 
anrl demerits of slavery discussed by Walter and Wild Bill. . 

CHAP. XXV, — Walter Tucker's ideas of society— Utopia arrives at New- 
Berne — An unwelcome visitor at the palace ; and an unexpected reve- 
lation ......* 

CHAP. XXVI. — A midnight council — plots and stratagems — "Coming 
events ca^t their shadows before" . . . ■ 

CHAP. XXVII.— Zip Coon has an adventure — Sudden apparition of 
Walter Tucker — Disclosures — Frank Hooper — Mystery and passion 

CHAP. XXVIII.— Historical and geographical— Walter Tucker and Frank 
Hooper, types of two classes— Utopia's accomplishments 

CHAP. XXiX. Boyish conversation — Strange companions — An old acquain- 
tance in a new ^uise ..,.-. 

CHAP. XXX. — Confidential disclosures- Wounded vanity and incipient 
love — Sudden disappearance of uncle Job — The camp meeting 

CHAP. XXXI.— Uncle Job in his cups— Which is the dupe ?— Dr. Ribs 
performs an equestrian feat which is anything but satisfactory to himself, 
and verv amusintr to uncle Job .... 

CHAP. XXXII.— The chase— Perils by the way— Dr. Ribs fairly carried 
captive into the enemy's quarters — Reception of the young adventurers by 
Col. A^hp — Walter considers himself slighted — ^A metatnorphosia 

CHAP. XXXIII. — The club— Dr. Ribs in jeopardy — Makes a clean breast 
■ — consti-r taiion of the rebels — The *'Cape Fear Republicans" organised. 

CHAP. XXXIV.— Walter enters New Berne in a new character — and finds 
a new ch;ir:icrer in an old acquaintance .... 

CHAP. XXXV.— Utopia— Excelsior! — While the pure becomes purer from 
her inai'^ 1 hi* tempter falls ..... 

CHAP. XXXVI. Further development of character— Progress of a Uto- 
pian — 'I'lir f lid of a Utopian dreamer — Capture of Wild Bill . 

CHAP. XXXVlI. — The great diiiaal swamp, and its tenant — A vision of 
byjiutv, :nid a conflict. . . . , 

CHAP. XXXVIIl.— Historical— An unpublished leaf of history. 

CHAP. XXXIX.— Battle of Moore's Creek — Retribution — Death of Row- 
ton— A glimpse of human life .... 

CHAP. XL. — Walter journeys to Wilmington, and reaps golden opinions by 
the way — Second and last meeting of Walter and Frank Hooper — Time's 
revelations. ..... 

CHAP. XLI. — The tempter and the tempted part company — Other cha- 
racteis retire from the scene . . . . .217 



97 



106 



113 



120 



128 
137 



142 



153 



160 



164 



170 



177 



181 



186 



193 
201 



205 



211 



ILLUSTEATI0N8. 



Old Wkkcks, alias Ricketts . 

A Ball by Mooklight in Utopia 

The Shipwreck 

Jack Hawser and the Steanger 

Dr. Ribs at the Tournament 

])an Tucker in Love 

Dan Tucker and Zip Coon 

Utopia and Heattt the Negress 

Utopia in the Wilderness 

Wild Bill, Walter, and Utopia 

Walter, Frank Hooper, and Uncle Job, 

Uncle Job caketing off Dr. Ribs. 

Wild Bill 

Walter and Zip Coon attacked by pirates 





PAGE 


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19 


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31 


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53 


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65 


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70 


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97 


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102 


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108 


Swamp Inn 


146 




163 


, 


192 


• 


197 



ADVENTURES 



OLD DAN TUCKER, 

AND HIS SON WALTER. 



CHAPTEE I. 




CAFTAIH KICHARD EICKETTS.— HIS ENTEKPKISING DISPOSITION.— HIS IMPOKT- 
ANOE IN UTOPIA, 

EW sailors have visited the ports in 
North Carolina and not heard of Captain 
Richard Ricketts, famous for his deeds 
and many names. He was known abroad 
and to fame by the above appellation; 
but among his friends and familiars he 
was better known as " Rickety-Rackety," 
" Horse Racket," and "General Wrecks." 
Whence he derived the fii-st of these names, is a matter 
involved in doubt ; and in fact the whole of his early history 
is enveloped in the mists of antiquity, and little can be learned 
concerning it except by the dim and dubious light of tradi- 
tion. It is said that early in life he was the captain of a 
small coasting vessel, which sometimes carried produice. to 
market without the knowledge or consent of the original 
owner. On one occasion, a farmer who lived on the banks 
of a small, but navigable stream, found one morning that his 
crib had been emptied during the night; so he started with 
his overseer and a few neighbours, armed with guns, and sooii 



2 ADVENTURES OF 

overtook the vessel of Captain Eicketts, which, was moving 
slowly down the stream. The ship was speedily boarded, and 
the corn discovered J andanyother but Captain Ricketts vrould 
have found it diiEcult to account satisfactorily for the manner 
in which his vessel had been loaded. Ricketts, however, with 
entire self-possession, declared that he was innocent. He 
said that during the night, and while he was creeping close 
in shore to find deep water, there came a sudden squall of 
wind, which blew over the planter's corn pen, tumbling 
the whole of its contents into his vessel, where he was obliged 
to keep it until he came to a landing !* This ingenious ex- 
cuse not satisfying the indignant planter, the author of it was 
tied to a mast, and received on his bare back nine-and-thirty 
lashes ; after which he was permitted, with an empty vessel, 
to continue on his course. From this time, disgusted with a 
sailor's life, he was never again seen in his old haunts, nor 
did any honest man regret his absence. 

Due east of Albemarle Sound there is yet to be seen, on 
a narrow neck of land, a small cluster of stunted live oaks, 
from whose boughs hang long, luxuriant grey beards of moss, 
the apparent growth of centuries; and in the midst' of these 
oaks stands an empty, crazy, antiquated tenement, looking 
quite as old and desolate as the neighbouring sand-hills. It 
is a roomy, but slight and simple, structure of scantling and 
boards, with a floorless porch on one side and a shed on the 
other. Near it are the remains of smaller buildings; and 
immediately in front, and under a large Druidical oak, is a 
shallow well, with a part of the frame, the sweepbeam, and 
the, old bucket still remaining. Here it was that Captain 
Ricketts lived in state after having abandoned a life on the 
waves ; and here it was he performed those exploits which 
have given him a name among posterity. 

It is said of him that he was not a man of an imposing 
appearance, and that, though rich, his manners were simple 
and his apparel plain. He was of a quiet, thoughtful turn, 
with a shrunken, mummy-like body, and a face, the loose 
red skin of which was drawn into a variety of fanciful 
; * This Is founded on fact. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 3 

puckers, in each one of whicli those curious in physiognomy- 
could see the printed outline of some iniquitous plot. All 
his features were small, and wreathed with a perpetual smile j 
but his deeply sunken, restless, round, bullet-like eyes, 
glanced with a sinister light, causing in the object of their 
momentary gaze an unpleasant sensation. A dilapidated 
felt hat, with the rim falling about his face, covered a head 
slightly sprinkled with the frosts of age ; his withered legs 
were cased in leather breeches; an old blue cloth coat, 
patched from collar to skirt, hung loosely on his backj and a 
tow shirt, and pair of stout, red leather shoes, completed his 
ordinary dress. 

At the time when this story commences he led a rather 
lonely life; his household was small, consisting only of him- 
self and an old negro woman. He was, however, the pro- 
prietor of the only store or grocery in that section of country ; 
and this, together with the owner's wealth and importance, 
attracted much company to his house, which was, indeed, the 
head-quarters of all Utopia.* Increasing prosperity and the 
burdens of age at last prompted Captain Eicketts to change 
his mode of life. He became desirous of s,haring his joys 

* In Utopia neither their goods nor wives were held altogether in common by 
these people; but while they were profusely generous and hospitable, they enter- 
tained pecuUar notions upon the subject of matrimony and the virtues it incul- 
cates. Polygamy was not allowed; but in its stead there was a prevalent custom 
much more convenient to the bankers, and better suited to the changing tastes of 
the meii : the women were treated kindly and as equals, but every man was con- 
sidered as having the right to sell or swap his wife whenever he chose ; and in 
this business there was a constant and lively trade. 

Modern improvements, arts, and wants, have found their way among the 
bankers; and it is not to be supposed that the description herein given would at 
present suit them. There was a time, however, a period not remote, when, unfet- 
tered by the conventional rules of society, unaffected by the fluctuations of trade, 
the rise and fall of dynasties, and the irregularity of the seasons, they led a care- 
less, indolent and happy life, strangers alike to'the sweltering heats of summer 
and the snows of winter. Without fear or pride, malice or ambition, abundantly 
and easily supplied with food, and caring little for clothing, their existence had 
many charms for them; and would not be without its attractions in the view of a 
certain class of philosophers and philanthropists. Some of these had cast their 
eyes upon this country in former times, and from them it received the appellation 
of Utopia; a name which perhaps it merited as well as did the famous island of 
Sir Thomas More. 



4 ADVENTURES OF 

and cares with an intiijiate and friendly partner and com- 
panion, and accordingly began to look for a wife. Desiring 
to form a connexion with, one who had been broken to the 
matrimonial yoke, and not having time to canvass the whole 
country, the captain gave notice of his wants, and requested 
all those who had wives to dispose of, to bring them to his 
store on a certain day. 




CHAPTEE II. 

THE AKAES OF KOETH OAEOLINA. — AEKIVAI, OF STRANGEKS IN UTOPIA. — 
BECEPTION OF DAKUiL lUCKIEIl AND THE " LITTLE POCOSIN." 

HE first Satui'day in the month of — , 
17 — , was the day appointed by Eicketts 
for the transaction of the important 
business mentioned in the preceding 
chapter. On that day a vast number of 
Arabs,* Bankers, or Utopians, as they 
were sometimes called, and of all ages 
and sexes, congregated at the house of 
their richest neighbour. The married men were attracted 
by the prospect of good prices for commodities of which 

* The sand bar which stretches along the coast of North Carolina separates 
the ocean from a succession of sounds, the largest and most beautiful of which 
are those well known by the names of Albemarle, Pamlico, and Currituck. 
East of these inland seas is the har, a waste and barren region, in some places 
bleak and wild as the deserts of Africa, and strangely in keeping with the 
majesty of that mighty deep whose awful grandeur is enhanced by the silence 
and desolation that reign along its borders. Even here, in this dreary, naked, 
and sterile region, are the homes and haunts of men, a race who have never 
been classified by science, and who, though sometimes called Arabs, and Bankers 
belong neither to the savage nor civilised state of society. They are generally a 
motley collection of idle, roving, harmless creatures, leading an easy, indolent life'; 
free alike from the cruel, murderous, and plundering propensities of barbai-ians, 
and the more refined vices of polished communities. In the curious and beauti- 
ful little lakes of clear fresh water that gleam like mirrors in their arid and wild 
domain, myriads of fish abound; wild ducks, wild geese, and other seft-fowl in 



OLB DAN TUCIiEE. 5 

they had tired; the matrons, in their best apparel, were 
allured by hopes of a wealthy husband and a fine house ; 
the boys came for fun, and the maidens " to see and be seen." 
Few of the men came without a jug or empty bottle, and as 
it was an interesting and exciting occasion, frequent and deep 
potations were a necessary preliminary to the transaction of 
business. The matrons, and the maidens, too, indulged in an 
occasional glass ; and soon the crowd, with its faces wild, 
swarthy and bearded, withered and smii-king, brunette, merry 
and sparkling, presented a study for a painter, mingled as 
they were in a close, confused and tumultuous assembly; 
some boasting, cup in hand, of the beauties and excellencies 
of their better halves ; and some playing the agreeable to the 
girls in their own rude and hearty way. Round old Kicketts 
there was a circle of men and women, all talking at once : 
while he seemed to have an ear for each, and kept his restless 
eyes glancing through the crowd. Suddenly the noise and 
confusion ceased ; for the whole company, as if by instinct, 
had become aware of the presence of persons of a different 
nature. These were a man and a youth, the former rather 
advanced in years, and the latter apparently under twenty. 
The elder was a small spare man, with a head slightly 
sprinkled with grey hair, a mild blue eye, and good-humoured 
face ; he wore a blue home-spun coat buttoned to the chin, 

countless thousands cover the waters, and on these, which are easily taken, they 
chiefly live. In formSr times, however, they had another source of suhsistence; 
a source from which they drew their main supplies of money, goods, and 
groceries. They followed the occupation of wreckers ; a business whose 
prosperity was attested by the long dark line of keels, hulks, and dismantle^ 
vessels that covered the shore. It would seem that this fraternity would have 
found sufficient employment in the unavoidable casualties of the winds and 
waves on this disastrous and melancholy coast; but population and competition 
increased, and the cunning of man was sometimes employed to add to the natural 
horrors of the dreaded region. The public generally were not concerned in these 
wicked tricks; and rude as it was it would not have countenanced them; but 
those who used them were secret in their operations; and, as it happens in all 
communities, would often be respected for wealth which they had obtained by 
disreputable means. Thefts, of course, were common; and stranded cargoes 
rapidly diminished from the time they were landed on the beach till the day of 
sale; still the crews were always saved, and treated with a kindness and attention 
that often attached the bankers to them 



b ADVENTUHES OF 

a pair of linsey-woolsey trowsers, and shoes that glistened 
with new varnish. His open forehead, puckered mouth, and 
twinkling eye, indicated by their blended expression a kind 
and careless heart ; but a close observer might have imagined 
that the clownishness of his manners was somewhat affected, 
and that occasionally the shadows of deep thought flitted over 
his brow. The character of the youth was harder to fathom, 
though it seemed stamped in his face. His features, taken 
singly were not handsome, but their united expression was 
extremely engaging, and with the compression of his Hps, 
and his quick, uneasy motions, seemed to display a fiery, 
energetic temperament; his broad white forehead looked 
thoughtful, and his large, black, and lustrous eyes beamed 
with sentiment and melancholy. He was of medium height, 
slightly built, straight and active ; his hair was long and 
dark, his hands small and delicate, and his voice so soft and 
musical that the few words he occasionally uttered riveted at 
once the attention of every hearer. His manners were 
awkward and stiff, and his conduct shy but not timid, while 
he gazed earnestly at the persons and things around him. 
While these new comers were thus the object of general 
attention, they did not escape the notice of Captain Ricketts, 
who greeted them with much apparent cordiality, and 
demanded their names. 

" My name," said the elder, " is Daniel Tucker, and I am 
gineraUy known as Pocosin Dan; this is my son Walter, and 
him we call the ' Little Pocosin.' " * 

"Good names, very good names," said a man in the crowd j 

" but where the d 1 did you come from, and what do you 

follow?" 

" As the Injuns would say, we come from towards sun- 
down," answered Dan ; " and when we are travelin', we 
follow our noses." 

" Whoorah for old Pocosin ! At him ag'in. Ribs ! " 
shouted the crowd, and the questioner continued : 

" S'pose I cut your nose off, what will you follow then, 
old fiddler?" 

* The Indian name for a small swamp. 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. I 

" I 'd follow you with a stick till I couldn't find the pieces," 
replied old Pocosin, 

" Well done ag'in, stranger !"cheered the crowd. " Stand 
to your partner, old Bones !" 

" It 's my opinion," said the person to whom this last 
epithet was applied ; " it 's my opinion that these fellows are 
pirates or spies, and no better than they should be; and I 
move we pluck their feathers and send them home." 

The stranger lad's hand was immediately at his breast, and 
the glitter of a dirk was visible ; when his father, as if by 
accident, brushed his arm aside, saying with the utmost cool- 
ness and simplicity — 

" Bless your soul, stranger, you 'd find precious lean 
pickin's, I assure you, for we are as poor as the turkey of Job ; 
and I do n't know when I 've seen the colour of any one's 
brandy." 

" Give hira some liquor I Give both of 'em some liquor !" 
cried several voices ; " they shall be treated well while here. 
Come up, strangers; the man that touches one of you will 
have to fight a crowd." 

The younger Pocosin declined the invitation ; but the 
elder touched Ricketts lightly, and, taking him aside, desired 
to speak with him in private. They were not long absent, 
and when they returned old Dan spoke as follows : — 

" Gentlemen, and ladies too, I want you aU to bear witness 
to a bargain between me and Captain Ricketts. He is to take 
my son Walter there as a clerk ; to feed, clothe and lodge him 
well, and watch over his morals ; and Walter on his part is 
to give his attention and time to the Captain's store, free of 
all charge, except what I 've menti^ed. Is that the bargain. 
Captain ?" 

Ricketts answered in the affirmative, and Dan continued : — 

" It 's farther agreed, that at the end of every month 
either party may be oS from the bargain by giving four days' 
notice. Ain 't it so. Captain Ricketts ?" 

'' It 's all as Mr. Pocosin says," answered Ricketts ; " and 
now, my little friend," addressing Walter, " I want you to 
go right to work. Here 's pen and paper, and I want you 



8 



ADVENTURES OF 



to take down the name, age, and appearance of all the good 
women who 've come to be sold. Put down everything, for 
I want to choose with my eyes open." 

Walter seating himself behind a rude table, prepared to 
do as he was told ; the crowd pressing around, and looking 
on with no little interest. 




CHAPTEE III. 

WAI.TEB COMMENCKS HIS NEW ENGAGEMENT. — UTOPIAN WAT OF CHOOSING A 
WIFE. — THE CHOICE MADE BY CAPTAIN KICKEITS. 

ITTLE Pocosin found his task no easy 
one, for in addition to the fact that half 
a dozen were talking to him at the same 
time, the Utopians indulged in tropes 
and figures and used a language with 
which he was not familiar; while his 
sensibilities were often shocked by the 
coarse manner in which husbands and 
women gave minute inventories of the virtues and excellencies 
of the latter. The Bankers were as moral in their own way 
as other people more refined, nor was Utopia the only place 
where wives were bought and sold ; but it was the custom 
there to oflFer them in market overt, and to cry up their value 
in plain and honest language. It must not, however, be 
supposed that the women were ever traded ofi" against their 
will, for their inclinations were generally consulted ; though 
in some rare cases they %ere sacrificed to the ambition and 
avarice of their friends, as it sometimes happens to maidens 
out of Utopia. But to proceed with our narrative. "Walter, 
after hours of labour, finished his task, and desired to know if 
he should report to Captain Ricketts alone, or in presence of 
the crowd. The captain and all his friends answered that 
the report must be read, and in presence of the assembly j 
and accordingly Walter began as follows : — 

" Betsy, or ' Sun-flower,' of Currietuck, wife of Harry 



OLD DAN TUCKEB. W 

Beefer. A swift-sailing craft, -well rigged, but little ballast, 
and will not mind her helm — performed two voyages; as 
sound as ever. Mem: is twenty years old, has two children; 
talks and laughs loud, and has a wit more brazen than flashy; 
squints a little, and shows her teeth too often. Price, two 
bushels of sweet potatoes." 

The Sun-flower was not entirely pleased at this description, 
and it might have been a warning to others to have their 
charms spoken of in private ; but each confidently expected to 
hear herself highly praised. The clerk therefore proceeded : — 

" Dorcas, called ' the Little Fifer,' and wife of Topsail 
Bennet. Her lips are as pleasant as sassafras in April, and 
her breath like the taste of racoon oysters ; but she moves 
like a sand-fiddler,* and her tongue is a yard long. Mem : 
She is eighteen years old, been married four months. The 
first month she called her husband 'Honey;' the next, she 
found him a ' Good-for-nothing ;' the next, * a beast ;' and 
the next, 'a monster.' Price, two shillings and sixpence." 

" Sally, called the ' Pearl of Utopia,' and wife of Canty 
Snip ; is sixteen years old, sings well, but sews indifierently, 
and is better at a reel than a roast. Mem : LooJcs as if she 
were fond of rum and ribbons. Price, seven quarts of rum, 
and one ham of bacon." 

" Peach Blossom, widow ; who says she is about twenty- 
one years old, though she may be thirty, and looks forty-five." 

" Stop !" interposed Captain Ricketts : " I 've told every- 
body that I did 'nt want a young woman. Read about the 
old. ones." 

" Most of them have just been married," answered Walter; 
" but there are a few who are not so young. Here is one 
called Hagar, aged forty-five, and wife of Ike Harvey, as he 
calls himself. She can sew, knit, spin and cook well, and has 
been twice married." 

" What 's the price ?" demanded Ricketts. 

" A small animal of the shell-flsh kind, and which abounds on the beach. Its 
motions are extremely odd and amusing; it never turns when it wishes to go in 
any direction, but will run sideways or backwardsj and when once it starts, no 
obstacle stops it. It is the terror of ladies. 
2 



10 ADVENTUKES OF 

" Five gallons of rum, and one pound sterling for her and 
her child," cried a voice in the crowd. 

" How old is the child ?" asked the captain. 

" She was thirteen last May," said Ike, "and can do all that 
her mother can, and more besides; and is the most quiet, tidy, 
sweet, lovin' little crittur in the world. She's precious 
good, and there ain't the like of her in all Utopia." 

" I want no daughter," replied Rieketts, pettishly: "they'd 
break any merchant in the kingdom." 

" She 's not my chUd," said Ike ; " but I love her for all 
that, and I '11 keep her, if you say so.". 

" I cannot leave my child ; I will die before I '11 leave my 
child !" cried a female voice : " it 's bad enough, Ike, to leave 
you — lyou who I have so long served and nursed as if I were 
your slave, you who never in your life had any reason — " 

" Oh, rattle-snakes and simmons, brimstone and alligators !" 
shouted Ike ; " I want none of yom' whinny-whannies here, 
my duck, and so say no more about it. I '11 take the gal and 
raise her like a lady, and in a few years — ■" 

" Please, please let me stay with mother," cried the girl, 
weeping and sobbing, and clinging to her parent. " Oh, please, 
sir, take me; and I '11 never give you any trouble, and never 
ask for anything as long as I live." 

The crowd began to melt, and so did Ike, for, taking hold 
of the girl, he said — 

" Captain Rieketts, you do n't know what a treasure she 
is. See here, her cheeks are like the skin of a ripe peach, 
her lips is sweet as a snow-bank in August, and jest look at 
them eyes ! She 's a cherub, she 's a saint, sir ! O, I 'd rather 
hear her sweet little voice nor all the fiddles in creation !" 

The girl clung stiU closer to her mother, blushing, trembling, 
and shrinking from the gaze of the crowd, as they cried — 

" Take her, captain, take her, and make no more fuss 
about it." 

" I cannot give any money," said Rieketts. 

" Say ten shillings," replied Ike. 

" Not a cent : I '11 give the five gallons of rum." 

" It 's a bargain and a 'nation hard one," exclaimed Ike, 



OLD DAN TUCKER. II 

■yrhose face indicated an appetite for whose gratification more 
than wives are sometimes sacrificed. 

' Walter, sick of his task, rose and joined his father, and 
the crowd began vociferously to call on Ricketts to make a 
display of his gallantry. The little old man seemed in a 
prodigiously lively humour, and with great apparent boldness 
advanced to embrace his wife, but she contemptuously shook 
him off; and, casting a parting glance on Ike, took her 
daughter and withdrew. It was now late in the day, and 
the bridegroom, after repeated and unequivocal hints to that 
effect, invited his guests to spend the evening with him in 
making merry. Of course the invitation was accepted, though 
it was understood that most or all of the men would have to 
sleep on the sand ; not a dear price to them for one of their 
merry entertainments. 

Some of the girls now went to gather flowers wherewithal 
to deck themselves and friends ; others assisted the young 
men to sweep off the loose sand from the hardest and 
smoothest part of the beach ; and the old men and old women 
tried iu various ways to make themselves useful. 



CHAPTEE IV. 



A BALL IN TJTOPIA. — GLOOMY KEFLECTIONS AT PARTING BETWEEN DAN AND 
HIS SON WALTER. — THE INPLTJENCE OP DAn's INSTRUMENTAL MELODY.— 
DR. h'dONAU) RIBS AND MISS POLLY DAWSON. 

AELT in the night the Bankers' ball 
opened; and though there were in the 
crowd many a rude and vicious heart, 
and many a devious and darkly brood- 
ing spirit, the assembly and the scene 
were well calculated to inspire in a 
stranger and a mere looker on, the 
most pleasing and romantic thoughts. 
The serene blue heavens were their pavilion; the fresh cool 
breezes of the evening breathed over the plains the aroma 
of sweet shrubs and flowers, and the lamp of goblins and 




12 ADVENTURES OP 

fairiesj tlie full-orbed mooiij hung in mid air, pouring over 
land and sea a flood of soft delicious light that clothed them 
in a drapery wild and dreamy. The surf broke gently and 
slowly on the white beach, the spray sparkling with a thou- 
sand tender hues ; a single mocking-bird chaunted his lively 
airs from a solemn and venerable oak, whose drooping 
branches, hoary with moss, swept the ground j and the 
measured sound of light and nimble feet, the music of violins, 
and the merry voices of girls decked with garlands were 
mingled in the air. It was a time in which the soul throws 
oiF its mould of earth, and, feeling its kindred with the fan- 
tastic spirits then abroad, sweeps on the pinions of thought 
through bright, imagined realms, and holds amorous dalliance 
with the fair, sweet creatures of another world. 

There were, however, but two in that coarse, unlettered 
Assembly who seemed to feel the influence of the hour and 
the scene; these were the two Tuckers, who, sitting by 
themselves upon the beach, gazed for some time in silence 
upon the broad, bright, unruffled waters. Each appeared to 
be absorbed with reflections tender and pensive, but the 
elder, soon recovering from his reverie, rallied the other upon 
his extreme dejection. 

" Come, Walter,'' said he, laying his hand on the lad's 
shoulder, "this is not a time for gloomy thoughts. What do 
you say to a wild caper on the sand with these barbarians ?" 

" I can 't dance to-night," replied Walter briefly, and 
without averting his eyes from the water. 

" Well, you can at least see others dance ; come, we are 
losing all the fun." 

" I 'd rather sit here." 

"And how long do you suppose you have already sat 
here, my boy 2 The moon was nearly straight above us when 
we first came her&, and now see, she is half-way down the 
heavens." 

The young man turned his eyes in the direction of the orb 
alluded to, but gave no answer, while the other, in. a kinder 
and more serious tone continued — 

" Walter, my son, there is something preying on your 



fcs^ 










A P, ALL ET MOO K LIGHT. 



OLD DAN TUCKEE. 13 

mind, and I take it as a hardship that you do not tell me what 
it is. You were always wont to unbosom yourself to me, and 
why do you not do it now ?" 

" To tell you the truth," said Walter, " I feel sad at the 
prospect of parting from you. I was just now thinking about 
to-morrow, when you will be far away, and I shall be here 
among these strange people, without a friend or an acquaint- 
ance ; and you too will be alone." 

"^Then you do not want to stay?" answered the elder, 
inquiringly. 

"Yes, sir, yes, if it will pleasure you; but — but — " 

" But what, my son ? Speak out candidly and fearlessly." 

" I do not like these people." 

" Your stay will be short." 

" They don't seem honest to me : I don't know why it is, 
but I feel horrified at the idea of remaining with them. 
True, it is a beautiful place — why do you laugh ?" 

" I laughed at your odd fancy," said the elder Tucker ; 
"what beauty is there in these naked and barren sand-hills?" 

" Oh, much — a great deal of beauty to me ! They look so 
wild, and bleak, and new to me ; and then there is something 
so grand and noble in the ocean, that somehow or other I 
fairly love it, and could live here for ever if it were not for 
these horrid people. The ocean seems to me like a friend, a 
great and awful being ; and never, never shall I forget it." 

" Mighty souls hold sympathy with mighty elements," said 
the senior ; " and thus the great have ever loved the ocean. 
They imagine that it is boundless and free as their own 
hearts — it is the image of their thoughts. But to return to 
our subject: I have already told you, that some of these 
people are thieves, and all of them are rude and illiterate. 
The exact character of old Ricketts I do not know; but not- 
withstanding the strong reasons that have induced me to place 
you with him for a short time, T will not urge you to remaia. 
Above all, I again, enjoin it upon you to disregard our con- 
tract — to disregard all agreements, and quit him the very 
moment you catch him engaged in a dishonest act. Now, 
my son, speak Ireely and truly, do you wish to remain ?" 



14 ADVENTTJRES OF 

" I do ; indeed I do — and you do not understand me. I 
prefer to remain here ; but nature, you know, will have its 
way, and I am obliged to feel sad for a time. My reason 
satisfies me that it is best for me to fulfil your wishes, but 
my heart will rebel for a while." 

" My wishes are all for your good," said the other ; " and 
now that your mind is made up, let me impress on you a few 
additional precepts. Attend strictly and closely to your 
business, and treat all politely, but form no intimacies and no 
hatreds. Never permit yourself to imitate the manners or 
use the vulgar language of these people, and do not for a 
moment forget that you and they are different beings. Do 
not complain of tojl, of scant diet, and a hard bed ; these wiU 
but strengthen you. But read, as much as you can, the few 
books which you have ; remember me ; remember your own 
destiny ; and remember God, to whose good keeping I com- 
mend you. And now let us return, for these people will 
suspect us if we remain long away. It is easy for you to 
join to some extent in their innocent amusements, and yet 
not be like one of them. The great art of living with low- 
bred and vulgar people consists in this : be neither dignified 
nor intimate, too distant nor too free. For myself, to please 
them and open the way for kindness to you, I will put on 
the buffoon, apd give them a taste of my musical powers." 

There were few men in his day superior to the senior 
Tucker in the art divine of discoursing instrumental melody j 
and no fiddler ever excited more rapturous applause than that 
with which he was greeted on the sand-hills of modern 
Utopia. The men thought he had a wizard chained within 
his instrument, and honoured him accordingly; while the 
young maidens clustered about the junior Tucker with a 
manner more tender and respectful than that which they dis- 
played towards less fair and ruder beaux. 

It would seem to be one of the conditions of every society, 
that it should contain what are technically called a belle and 
a beau : that is, a lady and a gentleman who are each the 
a^iniration and delight of all the young people of the opposite 
sex, and the object of the envy and hatred of their own. 



OLD DAN TUCKEE. 15 

These characters are, too, in all ages and countries, formed 
of the same original materials ; that is to say, whatever be 
their mode of exhibiting it, the male must be essentially a 
vain, conceited popinjay, with more feathers than brains, and 
more impudence than worth; and the lady more remarkable 
for pertness and ribbons, a loud voice and a bold stare, than 
for nimbleness of wit, sweetness of temper, and grace or 
dignity of manners. Dr. T. M'Donald Kibs, the most cul- 
tivated, physically and intellectually, of all the inhabitants 
of Utopia, was a young man who had succeeded in winning 
his own intense admiration, and that of all the ladies. He 
had, in his extreme youth, been blest with the advantages of 
polished society ; in other words, he had lived in the office 
of an apothecary, in one of the settlements on the Albemarle ; 
and had even skirmished on the frontier of literature, and 
carried off prisoners a few scraps of learning. Having no 
family influence, by the help of which to push his fortunes in 
an aristocratic community, and being without money or 
character, he set out on foot to explore the country; and find- 
ing that he could be a great man in Utopia, he there located 
and commenced the practice of medicine. He was one of 
those who, when among their superiors in rank, rail against 
the conventional rules of that society from which their 
vulgarity excludes them, and when with those Hke themselves, 
assume the airs and ape the manners of higher and foreign 
circles. This Caliban of the parlour and Chesterfield of the 
kitchen, exhibited among his equals a fastidious taste and a 
fiery temper, never having been knowu to be pleased with 
his food or lodging, or to agree with any one in sentiment 
upon any subject. He was always talking of the manner in 
which people lived, dressed, and ate in other places ; and he 
studied to be thought eccentric and bold. In appearance he 
was not particularly handsome, being tall, spare, and bony, 
with long, straight hair, that fell over his shoulders, and had 
nearly the hue of the sand-banks on which he resided. His 
eyes were of a very light blue, his nose short and crispy, his 
chin, long and sharp, and his mouth broad and protuberant. 
Miss Polly Dawson was certainly very good looking j indeed. 



16 ADVENTUEES OF 

Bhe was handsome in form and feature, and, for a belle, had 
a ■wonderfully low, sweet voice, and manners sedate and coy, 
except in the dance, when she seemed to have taken for her 
model Cuttie Sark, in the vision of Tarn O'Shanter. Of 
course, as in duty bound, she was more outlandishly dressed 
than any of her sex ; but, in spite of a double quantity of 
calico, a triple quantity of ribbons, and a quadruple supply 
of flowers, her full, ripe, and elastic form, her finely chiseled 
features, her rich complexion, and piercing black eyes, fully 
entitled her to the distinction she- had acquired. The suns 
of eighteen summers had matured and expanded in its richest 
glory this wild blossom of Utopia, and the warmest glow of 
life was swelling in her veins and burning in her heart. 
Ceremony being little regarded among the Bankers, Polly, 
with all her maiden modesty, was unable to hide her prefer- 
ence for Walter Tucker, upon whom her marked attentions 
drew the awful and indignant scowl of Dr. Ribs. 

"Walter, aU. unconscious of the storm gathering over his 
head, began to lose his melancholy in the pleasant society of 
his fair and tender partner ; Polly Dawson, delighted no less 
with the consciousness of producing envy and mortification, 
than with hopes of a new and brilliant conquest, became 
more and more kind and attentive to her new acquaintance ; 
and the crowd, enlivened by the music of old Tucker, and 
the excitement of the dance, had little time or inclination to 
notice the whims, or sympathise with the sufiierings of the 
outraged beau. That notable person having in vain exhausted 
every artifice in attempting to excite the remorse of the belle, 
having frowned and scowled upon, walked round, and rubbed 
against Walter Tucker, to little purpose, became at last so 
charged with wrath that, without the slightest provocation, 
he fell furiously upon a sallow and unhappy-looking lad, 
with an inflated spleen, and but for the interference of the 
crowd would have speedily sent the poor boy to his final 
reckoning. As is usual, however, in such cases, the whole 
assembly ran together — every man grappled with his nearest 
neighbour, and groans, blows, oaths, and shouts were mingled 
together. No one had the slightest knowledge of the cause 



OLD DAN TUCKEE. 



17 



or progress of the fray ; no one knew friend from foe, and 
soon tlie whole crowd were rolling together pell-mell in the 
sand, wild with rage and whiskey, and conscious only of a 
pleasant and exhilirating excitement. This paroxysm at last 
exhausted itself — there was a general reconciliation and treat,, 
and all that was known of the matter was that Dr. Ribs had 
acted with distinguished spirit and prowess. It was under- 
stood that he had, for a slight insult, chastised several bullies, 
whose names were not known, and his importance was, 
therefore, much augmented. In a better humour now with 
himself, and with everybody else, the Doctor joined heartily 
in the sports of the evening, and the dance was recommenced 
with enthusiasm and vigour. 



CHAPTEE Y. 

' OLD WKEOKS " SHOWS THAT HIS NAME 13 APPEOFKIATE. — THE SHIPWEEOK, 
— THE COUKAGE OF OLD DAN, AND THE GENERpSITT OP -WALTEB.— THE 
PASSEKGEES SAVED. — THE SUPERSTITION OP THE SAILORS, 

NE person, and only one, at the ball 
alluded to in the preceding chapter, 
observed that as the night waned there 
were visible indications of a change in 
the weather. For some cause best 
known to himself old Eicketts had for 
some time past been a watcher through 
the night; and now as the moon dis- 
appeared in a thick bank of clouds in the western horizon, 
and the wind freshened, the countenance of the captain 
assumed an expression unusually cheerful. Encouraging his 
guests to continue their revelry, he and his old cook stole off 
to the stable, from which they led out a pony,* tethered him, 

* It is the general belief in Noith Carolina that a custom similar to that we 
have attributed to Eicketts gave a name to a noted portion of the State. The 
region of country due east of Albemarle Sound, and between that and the ocean, 
is called Nag's Head; a name not unknown to the politicians of the country, as 
applications have been made to Congress for appropriations to open an inlet, in 
this section across the bar of the ocean. 
3 




18 1 ADVENTURES Of 

andfE^ateniag a large lantern to, his he^ tvv^ned him loose. 
Ihe captain then, enjoining, it on the negress to keep the 
horse in motioin, returned to, the house, a,pp£if eBsljly delighted 
at the deepening daifltnesgi an.4 th^ ga.le th# V-ow threatened 
a speedy termination to, the sports of his guests. Th© 
heavens were soon overspread ■wfitik clpju^s^ the night; grew 
pitchy dark, and the wind beca,ij^9, §p violent that, the women 
and. aobec men crowded into thq ho.use, the yo.nngei; Tup^e^ 
ajimost feremlpJiing with awe as h^, heard the ifoajr pt the chafed, 
and. angcy oceaji. He, thongh* of thpsP: wli,0: ini,^t be put in 
such a storm, apd he. "wasi wpndering at th^^ haj^d^hppd of thei 
mariner who co.uM ride, luj-d^isffiayed upon the, fea^^uj d,*ep 
■yrhen lashed into fury by the tenjpest, 'vphw a sudden, ex- 
clamation threw the whole company into commotion. He was 
at first alarmed with a vague suspicion of disaster, but his fears 
were quickly dispelled by the cheerful countenances around 
him, and the wild exclamations of delight which burst 
from the lips of all, both male and female. For himself, he 
could see nothing at which to, rejoice, wljije he wa.s stiU more 
bewildered by the cries, "She 's on the right track !" "She 's 
in. the Devil's Basin, now!" "She's swamped*! she 's 
swamped !'' which were uttered by the cro.wd; as they fairly 
tumbled out at the doors and windows. Ri^hing into the 
yard' himself, he found' his father, who, taking hini by the 
hand, said' hastUy, and with emotion — 

" Farewell, my dear boy, we may not meet again !; There 
is a ship aground^ and I am going with Captain Eicketts in 
a boat to see what aid we can rendfer to those on board, 
^ood bye ! they are waiting for me."' 

" I must go too," said Walter, seiiziiig his father's, arm 
with both his hands ; " you. '11 be Ibst' — ^you 'U certainly be 
lost, and I wiU perish with you !" 

It is said that an old banker, in former times, kept a nag or pony which on 
dark nights he woald drive about, the be<M!h, tethered, with a lantPin, fastened to 
his head; and the "bobbing up and down" of this light woald deceive ^ilors, 
and decoy their vessels over the bar, causing them to be wrecked. 

'Erom its salubrious climate and facilities for sea. bathing, Kag's Head has, now 
become a fashionable resort in summer ; and at that season may therp now be 
found elegant people and good society. 




THE SHIPWRECK. 



OLD DAN TTICK.1R. 1^ 

" NonsenfeCi Wafter ! nonsensie !" said Data. '^ Release m6, 
iriy boy; many d,n tinhkppy man may be 'dtot^Bd #hile ybti 
id^lay me tbus!'' 

"Come on! all hands aboaW!'* shouted those Who w-erfe 
manning a boat on the beach; and the leldet Tttbker^ wilh 
Walter itill clinging to his arnii and whoiii he in vain 
endeavoured to shake off, hurried to the shore. Her 6 he hid 
little tim6 to hesitate, fbr the young niah ^sWi in thB boat 
before him; and soon thfe hardy bankers^ chanting a wild air, 
and indulging in ribald jests and oaths of the mdSt shocking 
profanity, VrenS riding oh the billoWs. The i^iild blew from 
■the shore, dnd had feom^what luUedj but Still there ins k 
heavy sea rolling; and as the bbat irdeked tb aUd frcij no# 
mdving sld#ly and almost perpendifculatly upward, aiid AM&a. 
darting s#iftLy do#n belw^en 'the yawHiUg Wafes, Waltfel: 
Tucker rie^arly lost his conScroushesfej and WkS Btill eliii|ifi|; 
to the gunwalefe when hi^ fdund himsblf safely by the feidS 
of the gr6unded ^hi|)i A shoUt of jdy 'frum thBsfe' bU board 
the latter brought him td his stensi^S, Mdhe sboii foi-gdt hi§ 
ffears as he began to feel for those whwm he had come to 
jrelieve.' Thfe ship had struck upon the sahd; aud While th8 
f)asseiigers stood trembling and weeding bH deckj ptf eritfe aiid 
childrcBj wives and husbdinds cliiiging td aiid feiiibfa'^iag'gieE 
other J the sailors werd busily engaged 'in light^fitiiig fh% 
vessel. Mofet ttf these latter, expecting t« be lost, had got 
druhk, afid their wild shouis min^lfed With the feeice toaf of 
the waters, and the piteous moan of thd bteaSts that werd 
thrown into the deep to be devoured while yet alive by the 
greedy sharks that were shoaling round the ship. A leak 
had sprung in the hold — deeper and deeper the vessel was 
settling in the water, and wave after wave swept the deck, 
when the passengers began to crowd into the yawl and the 
pilot-boat which had come to their relief. The last to leave the 
ship were two young persons, a male and female, who threw 
their arms about each other and seemed utterly powerless 
when told that one of them would have to wait for the return 
of the boats. There was no time to be lost in efforts to separate 
the couple ; and "Walter Tucker^ springing out of the boat, 



20 ADVENTtJEES OP 

whose complement was not full, forced the tender and gene- 
rous passengers into it, and remained with the sailors, hardly 
expecting ever again to see the land. It seemed to him that 
every wave would dash the ship to pieces, and he was grow- 
ing so numb that he could hardly cling to a mast as the waters 
broke over him, when his father's hand was laid upon his 
shoulder. 

The Captain, stationing the mate with a guard of sailors 
by the goods on shore, accompanied every boat to the vessel, 
and did not cease his exertions until he had landed almost 
his entire cargo. On his return from his last trip he was 
indignant at finding that his guard had deserted their trust; 
and following them to the house, his indignation was turned 
into astonishment at what he heard. The superstitious sailors 
averred that they were in a land of witches, and that several 
bales of goods had suddenly, and without any visible external 
agency, glided swiftly off and disappeared; some of the 
passengers confirmed the statement, and many of the bankers 
themselves were in a state of great alarm, charging the crew 
with dealings with mysterious and familiar spirits. ' The whole 
company were astounded and frightened at the incredible 
stories which they heard, and all marched out together to 
witness the phenomenon which had so terrified the mate and 
his companions. The morning had, however, now shown its 
cheerful face in the east; and the goblins of the beach, if any 
there were, had flown with the shades of night, under whose 
mantle they had played their devilish tricks. 



OLD DAN TITCKEK, 



gl 




CHAPTEE VL 

A. DISPLAY or UTOPIAN HOSPITALITY. — DESOKIPTION OF THE PASSENGEES.— 
CHSSTER EOWTON EXCITES THE CURIOSITY OF THE ELDER TUCKER, 

REATLY to their surprise, the passengers 
who had trusted themselTes to the ill- 
fated Sjren found that they were 
among a kind and considerate people, 
who ministered to their wants with a 
tact and delicacy not to be expected in 
a race so rude. Some of those who had 
participated in the frolic of the pre- 
ceding night, were imbued with the most generous and 
hospitable feelings; others expected, not unreasonably, to 
lose nothing by their attentions ; and all seemed to feel for 
and sympathise with the forlorn and suffering strangers. 
Captain Ricketts, acting as a sort of commissioner of wrecks, 
gave his immediate attention to the cargo, busying himself in 
having it placed in a place of safety on the beach, and 
sheltered by a temporary shed. Dr. Ribs, on the other hand, 
assuming to himself the office of master of ceremonies and 
dispenser of hospitalities, with aU the pompous courtesy which 
he could command, gave the strangers a hearty welcome to 
Utopia, assured them that their condition should be rendered 
as pleasant as possible, and in companies of twos, threes, and 
fours assigned them to the charge of his wealthiest neigh- 
bours. He himself was a boarder, he said ; but, in the name 
of his absent and generous host, he would take the liberty of 
offering the shelter of his roof and the hospitality of his 
board to Robert and Alice Bladen, who, as he judged by 
their dress and manners, were of superior rank, and would 
be pleased to be within the reach of a man of the Doctor's 
importance and refinement. Now, Miss Polly Dawson had 



gg ADVENTURES OF 

concluded to make a similar offer, and she attached herself 
•warmly to the girl, at the same time that Dr. Ribs fastened 
himself to the gentleman ; while perhaps each one was mainly 
solicitous about the person who was to accompany the guest 
thus beset with entreaties. The young strangers, who were 
brother and sister, and Were the same persons whose attach- 
ment for each other had been so conspicuous on the night pre- 
ceding — could not agree as to the place where they should 
take up their temporary abode. Robert Bladen, pleased with 
the black eyes of the fair Polly Dawson, was for accompanying 
her, and indeed took the libferty of distinguishing her with 
gnch compliments and ffiarks of favour as fairly made her heart 
dance within her. His sister, hotPever, filled with vague 
fears and suspicions, ^as unwilling to move froiii her present 
locatioa, protected as it Would be by the presence of the 
sailofs. She had, too, ascertained that the clerk in the 
establishment was the person who had displayed so much 
gallantry on the flight before ; and his conduct then, togethe? 
with his face and manners, and those of his father, seesned tt> 
vouch for the respectability of his feraployer. She Wished, be* 
sides, to be With sotoie one of her own sex in whom, she coidd 
confide, and such an one she thought she had found in the 
little daughter of Ricketts' new bride J a quiet girl, in whoM 
the womanly sagacity or whim of Alice had qttickly read an 
uncommon fcharacter. Of course the lady's wishes hstd to be 
obeyed, but the belle of Utopia had no reason to complain of 
the iU-success of her charms. She aftraeted the ftttenticfn df 
Chester RoWton, a person of more elegant manners and dis- 
tinguished air than any of thdse who had landed dn the beach, 
and a ybung gentleman Who Would have Cut no mean figure; 
in any circle. He looked not more than twenty-five, had st 
decided Norman cast of features, was refined in conVc r^ation, 
and seemed a thorough man of the world. His attentions to 
Polly Dawson were more playful, and not so marked as those 
of Robert Bladen; in fact he appeared so devoted to the 
latter's sister, that no other object Cotild fix his serious regElrd. 
He at first desired to remain with her at Ricketts', but find- 
ing or seeming to find that the accommodations were not 



OLD DAN TUCKER. »0 

sufficient, he bade her a reluctant farewell, and accompanied 
the delighted beauty of the beach. His baggage -was shoul- 
dered by the latter's father and brothers ; the other strangers 
followed their respective hosts ; and Walter Tucker and his 
father had now tim.e to scan more closely the features of 
Bladen and his sister, and to learn something of their history 
and destiaation. The young man was a stout counterpart of 
his sister, with fine, curly, chestnut hair ; an open, generous, 
confiding countenance ; and the modest, manly demeanor of 
one who had not; seen more than twenty summers, had known 
Httle of the. intrigues of courts, the corruptions of cities, or 
the general heartlessness of the world. 

His sister could not have been, more than, sixteen years old; 
and there was yet in her manaers much of the careless, artless 
girl ; while her form, which was extremely- light, airy and 
gracefol,, had not yet assiumed its full proportion!*. She was 
aot beautiful : no one thought her beautiful when he first 
looked at her feice, and yet no one ever left hep after aa 
feoHir's acquaintance without having- obj hi« heart a sw«et 
impression which long years would not eras§. Tiiuth, tender-. 
?.ess, and innocent vivacity sparkled in hei; light blue eyes } 
her face,, ■n'hichi was not large, shone with a light so, celestial,, 
that the form of her features remained unnoiiiced; while her' 
voice, in; aljf its various intonations, was always low^ and soft, 
afld musicaJ> Full of tiajidity and) genuine modesty,, she was 
an utter stiianger to.the arti&es.of her sex, and while hi every 
word she.; spoke, in evecy- act, and look, motion, and laugh, 
she was; violating some Qardiijal; rule of conventional etiquette, 
she was ever graceful, ever interesting-,, ever clothed in the 
diPapeiiy of spotles^j purity.. She and her brother soon in- 
formed, their ententaJuer^ that they had relations in the 
Province of North, QaKolina, who sto.Qd high in. the court of 
Gflv^mpr ]\^artifi,. where- they ijutended first- to go,, and where 
it. was thS; purpose pf Chester Eowton to remain. Of this 
latter, wh.o had excited the. curiosity of the elder Tucker, 
they only knew bh.a.t he was of noble birth and enterprising 
character, aftd, expected to find in North. Carolina a feld for 
the exercise, of his genius. 



g4 ADVENTURES OF 




CHAPTEE VI I. 

SCENES IN UTOPIA. — DR. MDONAID ElBS IN LOVE WITH ALICE BLADEN. — ' 
PllOVES HIMSELF A BAD GEOGEAPHEK. — ALICE BECOMES INTERESTED IN 
WALTER. 



person's name becomes so identified 
■with his character, that the two often 
seem to be remarkably well suited to each 
other, although we have the authority 
of Shakspere for the assertion that 
there 's nothing in a name. It may be 
so ; but sometimes the name, even to a 
stranger, wiU convey a tolerably correct 
impression of the person who owns it ; and such was cer- 
tainly the case with regard to the beau of Utopia. His 
original Christian name was Timothy, which while a boy 
was always abbreviated into Tim; a designation which 
offended his vanity when he grew up to man's estate, and 
which he then changed to the more euphonious appellation 
of T. M'Donald. The Eibs still remained, though somewhat 
ennobled by the aristocratic prefix, even as the protuberant 
ossifications of his body were rendered less ridiculous by the 
dignity of his carriage and the grace of his manners. In 
truth, the Doctor was essentially a man of bones — aye, of 
bones, which if found among fossil remains would have 
puzzled the most skilful naturalist ; while that part of him 
through which it is said the evil one makes his approaches, 
was extremely meagre. By the benevolent wisdom of 
Providence, however, he was endowed with a high opinion 
of his personal attractions, and his egotism furnished him 
with a shield as impervious to the shafts of ridicule as the 
hide of a rhinoceros to the stings of a mosquito. He was, 
too, somewhat fluent of speech, and on all occasions and on 
all subjects mustered into service the high-sounding techni- 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. 



calities of his profession ; a ntimber of wliicli he had picked 
up at various times, and stowed a-way in his memory. 
Taking it into his head to become desperately enamoured of 
Alice Bladen, he spent the Sabbath with her, entertaining 
her with a history and description of the region in which she 
was then placed. She was not displeased at his attentions, 
furnishing as they did food- for mirth, while his knowledge 
of localities enabled her to gratify her curiosity in regard to 
the country and people of Utopia. Fascinated with the wild 
and desolate features of the place, each one of which was 
new to her, she spent the day in rambling about, imagining 
herself in the great desert of Sah^a ; while a group of high, 
steep, bleak hills of loose and naked sand, on the sides 
of which half naked, sun-embrowned and savage-looking 
children were climbing and tumbling, strengthened the 
illusion. 

" What a sweet place !" exclaimed AUce, as she approached 
the hiUs ; " how I should love to live here among these wild 
and wandering Arabs, knowing no one, and no one knowing 
me or my language." 

" The Arabs speak English," said Doctor Ribs, " though 
it 's somewhat tinctured, as we doctors say ; nor are they so 
wild as you suppose." 

Alice stretched her eyes, and some of the others looked 
curiously at each other, when the beau continued : 

" I'm an Arab myself j not born here, it 's true, but this is 
now my home ; and I 'm sure I 'm as tame as a pet cat." 

" What on earth do you mean ?" exclaimed Alice, asto- 
nished at the Doctor's language, and infinitely amused at 
his smirking manner. 

" This place," said Walter Tucker, " is called Arabia, 
Miss Alice ; and the Doctor thinks you are alluding to it, and 
not to Arabia proper." 

" Arabia proper !" exclaimed the beau, " what do you 
know about this country ? I 'spose you think that your own 
swampy country is better than this ; but I 'd have you know 
that this is as proper an Arabia as any in the world ; and 1 
ought to know, for I 've travelled some." 



g6 ADVBNTUEES OF 

" Were you ever in the East ?" asked Alice. 

" This is east. Miss," replied the Doctor ; " but I 've been 
North as far as Currituck Inlet, and that 's what few Arabs 
can say." 

"I should think so," said Walter Tucker; at which 
Eobert Bladen and his sister gave him a very plisasant look. 

"And this is called Arabia?" said Alice, after a pause. 
" It does indeed look like th9.t country which from a child 
has filled my imaginatipn with romantic visions. Brother, 
please let 's visit it." 

" Wait till I am disappointed in love," answered he ; and 
instantly observing a crimson flush on his sister's cheek, he 
continued : " I have heard it said by a wise old friend of 
ours, that the East possesses a peculiar, fascination for dis- 
appointed lovers." 

"And he might have added for disappointed politicians 
also," said Walter ; " somehow or other, whether it be from 
the pictures we see of it, or from some other cause, we have 
an opinion that it is a land of repose." 

" I should not think that you learned that from its history," 
replied Bladen ; " for it has b^en the scene of mighty events 
and terrible convulsions." 

"And perhaps for that very reason," said Alice, ''we 
think it to be a land of rest. It is like an old man, whose 
youth was agitated with a whirlwind of passion, until the 
strong energies of his nature were exhausted, and he was left 
without emotion, without love, or fear, or hope, ambition, 
envy or hatred, a calm, quiet, contemplative spectator of the 
course of things. The passions, like a great sirocco, have 
swept over that land, and left it ; and now among its broken 
arches, its tottering columns, and its piles of ruins, is the 
most appropriate place to sit and thiuk on the text of the 
Preacher, ' Vanity of vanities ; all is vanity.' " 

" Truly, sister, you are no indifferent preacher yourself, 
and I hardly know what to think of you. Travel, and the 
excitement of new scenes, have wakened a new geniy.s within 
you." 

" I feel astonished at myself," said Alice, " for ideas which 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 27 

have long been floating indistinctly in my mind have sud- 
denly assumed distinct and palpable shapes; and, what is 
more, I can now express myself more fluently and eloqitently 
than I formerly could." 

" That reminds me of a figure which I have heard fether 
use," spoke "Walter Tucker; "he says that when we are 
young the knowledge of certain subjects is perceived by the 
mind as the eyes see a far-off continent. For a long time there 
is before us the dim outline of a huge mass of something, we 
do n't know what. Gradually it becomes more and more 
distinct; then we see the mountains, hills and plains ; and at 
last the country, with all its colours, shapes and appearances, 
lies before us." 

" Did your father ever send you to school ?" asked Alice 
Bladen, looking at Walter with a kindly inquisitive look. 

" He has taught me himSelf," answered the lad ; " and 
ever since I could read I Ve been wanting to visit those 
countries about which you spoke. I should feel so free in 
those lonely deserts, and would have so much to think about 
while wandering among ruins that look like the wreck of an 
old world ! I have heard father say that what they call the 
barbarous state is the most natural state of mankind, and that 
this is their first and last condition. He says that nations are 
like children ; when they are infants, they are too innocent, 
and happy, and ignorant to care for those things which engage 
them in manhood, and when they are old they are too wise. 
But however this be, I always had a desire to visit the east." 

" And so have I now," said Robert Bladen, the party 
having reached the top of the highest hill: " I should like to 
go that way as far as my fatherland. 'See, sister, what a wide 
waste of water lies between us and our home." 

" But the sea seems to bring us close by it," answered 
Alice ; " for there are no hills, and houses, and countries 
between, and on the banks of this very water stands our dear 
old house. It seems to me that 1 can almost see it in the 
far horizon, peeping out from the trees that surround it. I do 
believe, in fact, I see something ; yes, do but see, it 's a ship, 
it 's a ship ! How small and white, how beautiful, it looks! 



28 ADVENTURES OV 

One could almost imagine that it is the tiny and snowy barge 
of some little fairy, taking a pleasure trip on the water." 

" I had rather imagine it to be a vessel from home, and 
filled with our friends," said Eobert. " I wonder if it will 
come near enough for us to hail it : let 's hold out our hand- 
kerchiefs." 

" That ship," said Doctor Ribs, " is many miles from here, 
and if it seems only as large as your hand, how do you sup- 
pose those on board can see your handkerchief? It would 
be dangerous for it to come nearer than it is, though I have 
no doubt it is bound for Edenton or New Berne." 

" I hope so," replied Robert ; " and then we shall soon 
hear from home." 

" It 's only one day behind us, brother," said Alice, 
laughing. 

" No matter," answered Robert ; " it must have left since 
we did ; and besides, you know we were unusually long on 
the route." 

As if impatient to start off immediately for New Berne, 
whither he was bound, Robert Bladen now descended the 
hill, and with him the rest of the company, who by this time 
began to have an appetite for dinner. 



CHAPTEE VIII. 

MUSTEK BOUSD THE WATCH FIKE ON THE BEACH. — OLD DAN TELLS A TALE. 

THE STOKT OF JACK HAWSES. — CTOPIAH SPKITEg. 

URiNG the day which followed his 
disaster, the captain of the lost vessel 
had heard many strange reports about 
the frequent appearance and evil prac- 
tices of witches and devUs on the beach. 
He himself gave but little credit to 
these stories, which he considered as 
the offspring of ignorance and supersti- 
tion ; but his crew were not so incredulous, and most heartily 
wished themselves safely away. In the course of the even- 




OLD DAN TUCKER. 29 

ing, Chester Kowton and several of the bankers came to the 
head-quarters of Utopia, and it was agreed that all the men 
should that night keep watch about the stranded goods. 
Accordingly, the air being cool, a fire was kindled on the 
beach ; and Walter Tucker and his father, who had not yet 
taken his leave, together with no small number of Arabs, the 
sailors, and Captain Ricketts, seated themselves about the 
cargo. For awhile the company were lively and mirthful, 
but as the night waned, and drowsy feelings came on apace, 
various kinds of amusement were proposed for the purpose 
of keeping themselves awake. Some were for a dance : there 
was a clamorous call for old Pocosin Dan and his fiddle, but 
Tucker, being averse to such sports on the Sabbath, desired 
to amuse the company with a story. " If you wUl keep 
silent," said he, " and listen to me, I will tell you a tale which 
I heard many years ago, and which concerns the very business 
we are on to-night. 

"You must know," continued he, "that the Devil keeps 
watch in every man's heart, even as we are watching these 
goods' J and the moment you begin to harbour an evil wish, 
he smiles upon you in the shape of some pleasing hope, pats 
you on the back and whispers in your ear, ' that 's a bright 
thought, iny good fellow; foUow it up.' In this way a man 
may unawares make a bairgain with the old enemy, and before 
he knows it, his soul wUl be sold and paid for. Whenever a 
bad idea pops into your mind, you may know Satan is about : 
and if everybody would recollect this, and act accordingly, 
there would 'nt be so many sinners lost. Now it so happened 
that there once lived in England, in the old country, a very 
isprightly lad, whose name was Jack Hawser, and whose 
parents were very poor, but honest and pious. Of course, 
little Jack from the time he was a child looked with wonder 
and admiration at the rich people about him, and he was 
always thinking how happy he would be if he only had a 
large sum of money. One day — Jack was then nearly a 
grown man — the minister of the parish took for his text that 
passage of Scripture where it is asked, ' What would it profit 
a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul ?' and 



§0 ADVENTTTRES OF 

at the conclusion of the discourse he told his friends to go 
home and think of and answer in their own hearts this 
jsolemn question, '"Will you give your soul to God, to be 
saved in heaven, or sell it to the devil for worldly gain?' 
Jack thought a great deal on this matter; he argued it 
with himself, and every time he did so the blessings of a 
large fortune would become more and more enticing. He 
wanted to be a great merchant, and have ships at sea ; and he 
thought at last that he would sell himself for a little while, 
and after he had got to be rich and prosperous he would 
repent and try to be saved. As soon as he came to this 
conclusion, he felt certain that he would find a sum of money 
in a certain place in this country ; but as his parents would 
not let him go to sea, he ran away, went to Liverpool, arid 
there bound himself to the captain of a merchantman, which 
was to sail with a rich cargo to America. Well, the vessel 
started i and young Jack Hawser, in whom one evil de'ed 
prepared the way for another, began to reflec(t on the great 
amount of money the captain would receive for his goods, and 
how easy it would be to raise a mutiny in the ship and take 
it. He grew worse and worse ; when he got to New York, 
he spent all his litde earnings for drink and lewd women, and 
by the time his master was ready to sail had become a 
thorough villain. The captain had sold aU his goods for 
money, and wishing to carry home a load of produce from 
the Southern provinces, set sail for the West Indies. The 
crew mutinied J the captain, mate, steward, and several sailors 
were put to death, and thrown overboard, and Jack Hawser 
and his assistants became masters of the vessel and its con- 
tents. Then it was that Jack began to harbour more wicked 
designs, and to lay plots for the destruction of his companions, 
so that he might have the ship and all its money to himself. 
While he was thus thinking on this matter he remembered 
the preacher's sermon, and wished that the devil might now 
come to his assistance. Suddenly the stars and moon disap- 
peared, and terrible black clouds rolled through the air, 
almost touching the masts of the ship ; the winds blew furi- 
ously, and the ship rolled and pitched among waves as big as 




JACK HAWSEK AND THE STEAKGER. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 31 

the largest mountain. It got to be so dark too, that no one 
could see the face of his nearest neighbour ; the rigging was 
torn like rotten threads, and one of the masts fell with a 
terrible crash, and all seemed to be lost, when a great light 
appeared to the West. The sailors endeavoured to steer 
towards it, but the vessel in turning got into a trough of the 
sea, and a heavy squall striking her at the same time she fell on 
her beam-ends ; and before they could get into the yawl, seve- 
ral — in fact one half — of the sailors were lost. The other four 
came safely to shore, landing on this very beach, and having 
nothing with them but the clothes which they had on. They 
were glad, however, to escape from the water on any condi- 
tion ; and next morning they began to roam over the sand in 
search of some habitation and of something to eat. 

" Jack Hawser, straying ofi" from the others, was walking 
by himself, when suddenly a man, who had not, as Jack 
thought, come from any direction, was walking by his side. 
Jack looked at him, and he looked at Jack, at the same time 
smiling and telling him not to be afraid ; though the yoiuig 
man could not but feel a strange sort of dread. His compa- 
nion was plainly dressed like an Englishman, and spoke very 
familiarly; but still he looked very mysterious, did not make 
any noise as he trod on the sand, and his voice sounded as if 
it came firom a hundred miles oS. 

" There was a spice o£ malice, too, in his looks, and his 
smUe made Jack shudder j and though he seemed charmed by 
the man's face and was obliged to look at it, ip had a very 
strange and fearful appearance, and stripes of dark shade 
lined it, and it, seemed, to change from brown to white every 
instant, and then from blue to livid, just like a piece of vari- 
able coloured silk. His teeth were monstrously large, and 
white, and sharp j and his hair, which was of all colours, 
smelt of brimstone ; an,d TThile his laugh made the cold chills 
run over Jack, his eyes, looked devilishly cunning and deep, 
bright and obscure, bold and double meaning, Though close 
by Jack Hawser, he seemed to be millions of miles off, so far 
off and hidden were his thoughts, and feelings, and nature, 
and so little did he seem like a man of earth, He walked, and 



3S5 ADVENTUKES OF 

moved his body and limbs as if they were made of air and 
moved about of their own accord, without any sort of effort ; 
and when he laid his hand on Jack's shoulder, it had a most 
unnatural feeling, different from anything else in the world, 
making Jack's hair rise on end, and his flesh shrink and 
quiver all over him. Jack knew it was the devil, but he was 
afraid to say so, and so he held his peace till the Evil One 
told his business ; advised him to kiU his three companions, 
as soon as they went to sleep, and then to search a certain spot, 
near yon sand hiUs, and he would find a large heap of gold. 
Jack, glad to get rid of his new acquaintance on any terms, 
promised to follow his advice, and then the old man vanished 
in an instant. That very day Jack Hawser proposed to the 
sailors, after making a hearty meal of fish, that they should 
all take a sleep j but he remained awake, and while his com- 
panions were all unconscious of what he was about, he took 
a large stone and smashed their heads one by one, and then 
threw them into the sea. He then hurried off, and found the 
gold where it was promised — a tremendous large, glittering 
heap, that made Jack dance for joy. He could hardly be- 
lieve his own senses, and in a. sort of rapture fell upon his 
knees to kiss the bright coin ; when suddenly he found in his 
arms a skeleton of fiery bones, and his lips touched a raw 
and bloody head, the clotted gore besmearimg his face and 
hands, and getting into his mouth. He was nearly frozen 
with horror, and the more he tried to get away the tighter 
were his arms drawn about the bones, and the ghastly head — 
covered with eyes that were balls of fire, with terrible mouths, 
full of brains and mangled flesh, stiU rubbed against his face — 
kissed and licked him with tongues that were spewing bis. 
sing serpents. All day and aU night Jack was tied to that 
fearful monster, some of its mouths growling like tigers, some 
wailing and groaning like men in the agonies of death, some 
screaming piteously like infants, some howling and some 
laughing, and mocking, and gibbering, squeaking, and scream- 
mg like ghosts and witches, while cats were mewing and 
fighting on his back, and serpents and slimy snails crawling 
over his flesh. At last he tried to pray, but as his heart 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 



thought of God and heaven, a loud clap of thunder shook the 
earth to its centre, and then a voice crying out. 'You shall be 
a merchant in hell!' the howls and yells of ten thousand devils 
rent the air, and poor Jack Hawser disappeared in the 
yawning earth, still hugging and kissing against his will the 
monster with the bleeding and grisly head. Ever since that 
time the place where Jack's ship went down, is called ' The 
Devil's Toll Gate;' and it is said that he steals off all the goods 
that are stranded on the beach, and among these hUls over 
there they disappear, and are carried in mockery to the mer- 
chant of the lower regions." 

As Pocosin Dan finished his story, and while the attentive 
sailors were lopking uneasily and suspiciously around them, 
a sudden cry of horror and astonishment turned all eyes to 
the pile of goods, which began to move and tumble about as 
if making way for a bale at the bottom, which, apparently in- 
stinct with life, glided from the rest of the cargo and dashed 
swiftly over the plain. The astonishment and awe of the 
crew were unspeakable, and even the Bankers and the captain 
of the lost ship began to feel extremely uncomfortable. A 
new supply of grog was ordered, a stricter watch enjoined, 
and weapons prepared ; but there was a great conflict of opi- 
nion as to the best mode of proceeding against the Evil One, 
and much doubt as to the propriety of any plan proposed. 
At length several hardy tars, armed with cutlasses and clubs, 
and emboldened by drink, mounted the haunted pile, and 
swore they would follow it to the gates of purgatory. 
They had scarcely seated themselves, when one of themj 
finding himself moving, grasped his seat more tightly, crying 
out, " Clear the way ! now for a fair wind, and a smooth pas- 
sage!" One of his companions at the same time mounted 
behind him, and the others vociferously cheered, some crying, 
" Hoist the union, Jack, when you get to port!" some shout- 
ing, " Stand up for merry old England !" and some urging 
them bravely to board the old pirate devil, in the name of 
his sacred Majesty George the Third. 

" Three cheers for England!" responded the hardy couple, 
as they started on their cruise; and away they were swiftly 
5 



'84 ADVENTURES OF 

.boriie, One bf thefti crying out as he glided over the sand, 
"Farewell, messmates! — fifteen knots an hour for Davy Jones' 
locker !" In the course of an hour they returned, whooping 
and singing as they came, and bearing in triumph something 
between them, declaring, with all the rich expletives and 
emphatic oaths of the feailor's vocabulary, that they had slain 
and beheaded the great enemy of mankind. 

The Bankers heard their exultation without any visible 
emotions, except that they looked anxiously at each other, 
pressed closely together, and spdke in hurried whispers. 
Their conduct was not unobserved, and soon the cause was 
known, for by the dim light of the fire they recognised the 
severed and ghastly head of one of their neighbours and 
friends, and that of a horse ! The whole matter was a mys- 
tery to all but the Bankers, the two prominent actors being 
as much in the dark as the others, and not willing to believe 
that they had not actually encountered a spirit of darkness. 
They could only relate that they had succeeded, near the 
neighbouring hills, in lashing the goods on which they rode 
to a small tree, and that in a few minutes the devil, in a sort 
of compound shape, with t#o hfeads, and a great variety of 
horns, legs, and arms, came upon them ; that, after a fierce 
and bloody battle, they had put him to death, and taken off 
his heads. Upon examination, the master and his friends 
found that the Bankers had ingeniously played upon the 
superstitious credulity of the sailors, in order to conceal their 
own cunning and knavish tricks for the purloining of goods. 
They were in the habit of thieving on such occasions in pairs, 
and had often successfully used the following artifice : a long, 
black rope was attached to the tail of a horse, which, with a 
rider on him, was stationed at some distance from the cargo ; 
the other end of the rope was provided with a hook, and this 
was adroitly fastened to a bale of goodsj which, of course, 
would soon disappear at the full speed of the horse. In this 
way had the Bankers been managing on the night alluded to 
in this chapter ; but nevertheless, some of the sailors were 
not satisfied with the solution, or at least affected not to be; 
and to this day the hills where they performed this bloody 



OtD DAN TUOKER. 35 

exploit are called the ' KiU-Devil Hills,' and is so desigjiated 
in the maps of the State. 

The Arabs affected to feel little for their hapless acquain- 
tance, for whom they had all predicted a wretched end ; 
Eicketts was particularly and perhaps honestly indignant at 
his practices j but his neighbours withdrew in a rather moody 
humour. 




CHAPTER I?:. 

THS REAL UTOPIA. — ALICE BLADEN AND CHESTER ROWTON.— A LITTLE BIT CW 
PHILOSOPHY, WITH A DASH OF LOTj: »t JT.— CORPOKEALiyy OJ? UTOPIAN 
SPRITES. 

HiLE some of the events recorded in the 
last chapter were occurring, Alice Bla. 
den was amusing herself widi the Mttle 
daughter of Mrs. Kicketts. In the laij. 
guage of the ladies, when speaking of 
their preferences (which their eneroies 
say are not always rationally to be ac- 
counted for) Alice took a liking to the 
child, and even treated her with famili- 
arity, although they presented the greatest contrast in dress 
and jaanners. The girl was simple as well as Alice, but diffi- 
■dence, and a consciousness of social inferiority, caused her to 
be demure and taciturn. The two were in a rudjely furnished 
room by themselves; the girl, whom Alice had sent for, sit- 
ting stiffly in her seat, and at a respectful distance from her 
companion, who at first found some difficulty in getting her 
to sit at all. 

"What makes you so silent and reserved?" ^aid Alice; 
"are you afraid of me?" 

" No, Miss ; " replied the girl. 

"And you say you never had any name but that of Puss 9'* 

" No, Miss," answered the girl, laughing, and hanging her 

head J "sometimes they call me Utopia, byt I never heard 

of any other girl who was called that way;" and here she 

timidly and modestly ^ughed again. 



36 ADVENTUftES OV 

"It 'a a good name ; the very name for you," said Alice | 
" and hereafter I will always call you by it. Would you like 
to learn to read?" 

" I can spell now ; and mother says she hopes to learn me 
to read before next winter." 

"Who made you, Utopia?" 

" God," said the girl, gazing earnestly at her questioner, 
with her light hazel eyes beaming more confidently than usual, 

"What ought you to do to make him your friend ?" 

" Never lie nor steal, nor do a bad thing, and say my 
prayers every night and morning." 

" And who taught you all this, Utopia ? " 

" Mother," answered the girl, with a voice exceedingly fine 
and tremulous. 

" Does she say her prayers ?" 

"I don't know. Miss;" and she again hung her head, the 
blood almost burning her soft, transparent cheeks. 

"Wo'uld you not like to live with me, Utopia?" ssked 
Alice. 

" If mother did, I would." 

" Would'nt you like to go witnout your mother, and learn 
to read and write, and be a fine lady, with nothing to do but 
knit and sew ? " 

" I 'd rather live with mother/' 

At this instant, the old negress announced that a gentle- 
man wished to see Miss Bladen, who, with Utopia, went into 
another room. 

" I hope I do not intrude improperly and at an unreason- 
able hour. Miss Bladen," said Eowton, bowing respectfully. 

" Certainly not," answered Alice ; "why do you think it 
necessary to ask the question ? " 

" You were up the whole of last night, you know ; and I 
supposed yoTi might wish to retire early to-night. " 

" I cannot sleep till I hear from the witches," replied Alice ; 
" and, by the way, why are you not watching on the beach ? 
I never thought you afraid of spirits." 

" I am not, nor do I believe in them," said Eowton; " and 
therefore it is that I am not .watching for them. If I were 



OLD DAN TUCK.ee. BI 

in another place I could guess wko the witches are, but I will 
let tiiae develop ; in the meantime, may I have the pleasure 
of a stroll with you? A lover of nature like you should 
be on the beach, for the night is delicious, and the scenes are 
beautiful beyond all description. I think if you have a heart 
at all, it must to-night be stirred with soft emotion." 

" On such a night 
Stood Dido, with a willow in her hand, 
Upon the wild sea banks, and waved her love 
To come again to Carthage," 

said Alice, laughing ; " and that I may not have to be a similar 
love-lorn lassie, telling tales to the cold moon and colder 
stars, I '11 keep my heart to myself for the present ; but of 
course I will walk with you ; and come, Utopia, you must go 
with us." 

" Whom do you call Utopia ?" asked Eowton, looking at 
the girli "that 's an odd name to hear in such a place." 

" And have you not heard that you are in Utopia — the 
happy place that philosophers have talked so much about? 
We are now, I assure you, in that blessed abode ; and here is 
its fairest gem, with no name but that of her country, and a 
pretty one it is." 

" And why not leave this gem at home V said Eowton. 
" I would prefer to have none of the Bankers with us." 

" She is my friend, sir, whQe I 'm here," answered Alice, 
rather seriously j " and I choose to have her with me." 

This reply firoze in his breast nxany gallant speeches 
which the gay Englishman was about to utter ; but he soon 
recovered himself, and his wit sparkled like the spray in the 
moonbeams. 

" The ever-restless ocean ! " exclaimed he, as he and Alice 
■ stood on the beach, the surf breaking at their feet. " The 
. ever-restless waves of the ocean ! Often, for hours on hours, 
. have I stood on the beach, when a boy, waiting for the waters 
to get calm; but wave would still follow wave, and thus it 
- has been since the first morning that smiled on the newly- 
finished earth ! What a picture of human life and human 
.progress! Thus nation follows nation, in the same track. 



S8 ADVENTtJKES OP 

and passes away, after having run the career of folly which 
its predecessor ran, and been dashed on the sands and rocks 
where it was broken and lost. Everything in nature ia 
under a curse; it would almost seem that an evil demon rules 
in the affairs of the world." 

" Of course man was cursed, and the earth was cursed for 
his sake," said Alice ; "but there is a promise, and it wiU be 
fulfilled. All things admonish us that this is a temporary 
state of probation and suffering, and that an eternal rest, 
awaits the good and faithful. Oh, how fall of sweet meaning 
is the language of St. Paul, when he says, ' It remains then 
that there is rest for the people of God j' — rest from toil, and 
labour, and want, and hunger; rest from the tongue of slander 
and detraction; rest from the 'slings and arrows of outrageous 
fortune,' from the stings of conscience, the strifes and artifices 
of ambition, envy, hatred, and avarice ; rest from doubt and 
fear, and the horrors and phantoms of a mind diseased. How 
often have I wished that I was a preacfeer ; how eloquent I 
could be on the text I've quoted!" 

" I never heard his grace of Canterbury more impressive," 
answered Rowton; "but with much fewer words andmuch less 
eloquence you can convince me (and only you can do it) 
•that your first proposition is true. Excuse me — but how 
can you have the hardihood to say that faith and perseverance 
will be rewarded J Now do you not know a case that con- 
tradicts you?" 

" Indeed I do not," said Alice, 

" Is it possible you have forgotten ! Do you not recollect 
a certain gentleman who loved with ardour and wooed in 
honour a certain lady ? Has he not for months and years 
shown his tenderness, his constancy, his devotion, in a thou- 
sand different ways ? Did he not for her sake abandon the 
flowery paths of pleasure— bid adieu to the blandishments of a 
court, and spurn its favours— forego a bright career of ambi- 
tion, and a glorious meed of fame — yea, tear himself from 
home and kindred, and brave the perils of the deep, for her 
sake ? Is 4she not the breath of his nostrils — the object of his 
unceasing thoughts, the being who is inextricably twjneii 



OLi) DAN TTTCRER, 39 

atout his heart, connected with all his dearest hopes, and 
holds his happiness and his destiny in her own keeping? And 
yet, without any assigned cause, without a pretended reason, 
she is ever callous to his sufferings, and sees with indifference 
his heart crushed and bleeding at her feet !" 

" It still can study pretty speeches, and love Utopian beau- 
ties," replied Alice, laughing. " But the case is not in point ; 
and if it were, it is not altogether as you stated it — hush 1 
what is that?" 

" Only the noise of those revellers who are watching for 
ghosts ; Alice, you seem to be jealous, but — " 

" Not in the least, I do assure you, Mr. Rowton," said she; 
" you are entirely ihistaken — Utopia, Puss ! where is the 
child ? Please, Mr. Eowton, let us go to the house, for I think 
something has happened. Oh, my dear brother ! I wish I 
could see him safe ! " 

The wish was gratified, for Robert was at the house as soon 
as Alice and her companion j and, to her great horror, he re- 
lated what had happened in connexion with the stranded 
cargo, and with which the reader is already acquainted. 



CHAPTER X. 

NEW EEEttE. — POLITICS AND WoMAh's WILES. — ^LADT SUSANNAH CittOlSllA 
MATILDA, SISTER TO THE QUEEN OP OKEAT BRITAIN, AND GOVERNOR TRTON 
—THE ASSUMPTION OF REGAL STATE IN NEW BERNE. — ^A WOMAN'S AJUDI- 
CATION IN A LOVE CASE. 

HERE are few places in the world more 
pleasant to the man of taste than the 
city of New Berne, in the month of 
May or June. There is about it a grave 
and mystic air of antiquity, that at once 
conjures up a thousand dim recollec- 
tions and fancies of the remote and 
_ misty past. The green foliage of elms 

and forest trees, and the gay blossoms of an endless variety 
of shrubs and plants, and thick -clustering vines, blend 




40 ADVENTURES OF 

tlie cliarms of nature with, the beauties of art; the placid- 
Trent and stately Neuse, half circling the shady old town 
with a silver cincture, glide quietly together on its east, their 
united waters expanding into a broad bay, whose serene, 
smooth face, unfurrowed by steam-belching monsters, is ever 
wreathed in smiles by the ripple of light canoes and white- 
winged ships. If unfavoured by the Muses, the sister Graces 
at least have all been dwellers there ; and the people, like the 
well-trimmed lawn, show in their manners and conduct that 
education and refinement were intended, not to destroy, but 
to prune the wild luxuriance of nature, and direct her rude 
energies to good, useful, and benevolent purposes. The soft 
and balmy climate of this region, and the promise which its 
waters gave of a safe, capacious harbour and thriving com- 
merce — convenient as it was to the great Occum river, or as it 
is now called, Pamlico sound — endeaf ed it to some of the first 
discoverers ; and soon it became the centre of a wealthy and 
refined community, and ultimately the seat of the royal 
government. 

There were originally in North Carolina three settlements 
or counties, that of Cape Fear, of which Wilmington became 
the head; Albemarle, of which the largest town was Eden- 
ton, and Bath, which was between the two former, and the 
capital of which. New Berne, was nearly equidistant from 
Edenton and Wilmington. This last, as stated, became the 
seat of government ; and here in former times was held a 
court whose splendours were unmatched by anything of the 
kind on the American continent. North or South. It was the 
subject of praise and wonder far and wide; it even drew 
forth admiring tributes from the pens of philosophers and 
the lips of travelled scholars; and, considering the times 
and the country, seemed to many the work of enchantment. 
Such in fact it really was, for what alchymic art or wizard's 
wand so potent to influence as a fair and graceful woman ? In 
those days legislative assemblies, representing, as they mostly 
did, poor and discontented constituencies, were stubborn 
and parsimonious; but what was bej'^ond the power of 
manly eloquence and persuasion, of official corruption and 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 41 

patronage, was easily accomplished by female wit and blan- 
dishment. In the beauty and accomplishments of his wife and 
her sister, the famous Esther "Wake,* Governor Tryon found 
his most able assistants ; and these subduing the hearts and 
understandings of a refractory Assembly, obtained from it 
appropriations which were applied in the erection of a palace 
that should have stood a monument of the gallantry of North 
Carolina gentlemen, and of the charms and excellence of 
Carolina ladies. 

The Governor's palace in New Berne had not been pro- 
vided with a throne ; but there were, in its place, two 
chairs of state, two large arm-chairs of mahogany, richly 
carved and cushioned, and on the back of one of which were 
blazoned the arms of England, and on that of the other 
the armorial bearings of the lords proprietors. These 
seats having become offensive from their constant and 
pompous use by Governor Tryon, were seldom occupied 

* The beauty and accomplishments of Esther Wake, sister-in-law of Governor 
Ti'yon (predecessor of Governor Martin), were long celebrated in North Carolina; 
and it was in honour of her that Wake county was named. It is said, that it was 
through her influence with the leading members of the Assembly, that the Gover- 
nor obtained appropriations for the erection of the magnificent palace which he 
built in New Berne. Of this palace, Mavtin (afterwards Chief Justice of Louisi- 
ana), says in his History of North Carolina: — 

" The building was superior to any of the kind in British America; and the 
writer of this history, who visited it in 1783, in company with the late renowned 
and unfortunate Francisco de Miranda, heard that gentleman say it had no equal 
in South America." 

It was dedicated to Sir William Draper, the conqueror of Manilla, who was on 
a visit to Governor Tiyon's, and who was said to be the author of the following 
lines inscribed over the principal door in the vestibule: 

" Bege pio, felix, diris inimica tyrannis, 

Virtuti pas aedes libera terra dedit. 
Sint domus et dominus sacclis exempla futnris, 
Hie artes, mores, jura, legesqne colant." 
Which are thus translated: 

" In the reign of a monarch who goodness disclosed, 

A free, happy people, to dread tyrants opposed, 

Have to virtue and merit erected this dome; 

May the owner and household make this the loved homo 

Where religion, the arts, the laws may invite 

Future ages to live in sweet peace and delight." 

Martin's History, vol. ii. pp. 265, 2G6, 

G 



43 ADVENTURES OF 

by his more prudent successor, Josiah Martin, who avoided 
that arrogant assumption of royal state which had rendered 
his predecessor obnoxious to censure and ridicule. On 
one occasion, however, their public exhibition became in- 
dispensable and appropriate. On one of them sat, or rather 
half reclined with indolent grace and dignity, a fair-look- 
ing lady, royally attired in rich blue robes, on which and 
on her head were glittering a profusion of costly and magni^ 
ficent jewels. The Governor stood uncovered and respect- 
fully by her right, on her left sat his lady, on a more humble 
Beat; while the hall was crowded with a gay and well-dressed 
audience of ladies and gentlemen. Each one ot these latter 
was presented by the Governor to the lady with the diamonds, 
the Lady Susannah Carolina Matilda, "sister to the Queen of 
Great Britain, and whose hand each new comer, kneeling, 
kissed with reverential courtesy. A cringing servility to 
power formed no part of the character of the North Carolina 
gentry; but they were, nevertheless, a loyal people, much 
attached at one time to the person of George the Third, and 
ready to exhibit, without meanness, a proper respect for roy- 
alty, especially when represented by a fair, and gracious, and 
graceful woman. The Governor's guest, tbe Lady Carolina, 
was such a pei-son ; and her first' levee was attended by the 
beauty wit, fashion, and worth of the gay' town of New Berne 
and its vicinity. Lawyers and statesmen, generals and dema- 
gogues, hastened to do her honour ; and, being looked upon 
as the door to royal favour, she was soon surrounded with an 
atmosphere of intrigue, and hundreds of plots and plans be- 
gan to hatch. When the hour for the reception of visitors 
had passed, she turned to her honoured host, and with a 
playful condescension said, '.' Here, take your seat, Mr. Martin; 
I am tired of state already, and must go and gossip with your 
lady about the company we have seen. Bless me, how I 
should dislike to be a queen !'" 

" I must ask the favour of your ladyship to sit a moment 
longer," replied the Governor, bowing, "and honour me 
with your opinon touching a weighty matter just come to 
Jiand." 



OLB DAN- TUCKER. 4-^ 

"I am but a poor statesman, and a mucli poorer politician," 
returned the lady; "but the little -A'isdom I have is at your 
service, provided you will be brief) Monsieur Governor ; and 
provided, farther, that you have no Ijjng -winded grievances 
to present from some assembly of riistic and indignant 
patriots." 

" The subject matter falls properly under ydur jurisdiction," 
said Martin 5 " for certainly your ladyship should be the su* 
preme arbiter in the court of Cupid." 

"A love matter is it?" asked Carolina Matilda, with aui* 
mationj "upon my -word this is a singular subject to bring 
before his majesty's Governor of Carolina. Of course I will 
hear the case, though it be ever so long ; and trust me, let it 
be as doubtful aud knotty as it ihay, your good lady here 
and myself will make a most righteous award. Proceed, for 
I have a woman's curiosity." 

" A vessel has just arrived," said Martin, " from England, 
and by her I have, among (')thei's,-received a packet of letters 
from a friend' of mine in London!, By these I am informed, 
first, that there has long been a contract of marriage between 
Chester Rowton and Alice Bladen, by her guardian, Sir 
Charles Yeamons,* an old gentleman of character and rank 
in England. It seems that the lady and her brother a,re the 
orphan children of Colonel Robert Bladen, who was killed in 
battle, and whose widow has been • dead some time. Thesa 
young 'people Were adopted, brought ivp, and' educated by 
their childless maternar uncle. Sir Charles Yeamons j and he, 
wishing to do a good part by them, offered to Alice a match 
entirely worthy of her in every respect. Secondly, the young 
lady was perverse and whimsical j and though she had at her' 
feet one of the richest and handsomest courtiers in the king- 
dom, she was blind to her own. interest and happiness, and' 
Very absurdly refused to love her guardian's friend and fa-^ 
vourite. Lastly, when she arrived at a proper age, her uncle 
determined to consummate her happiness against her will, 

A Sir-.Iohn Y^amonS, GoVerifor of South Carolina, and one of the first settlers 
on Cape Fear, was one of the ancestors of the Waddels; a family dlstinguislied in 
the annals of North Carolina for its patrfocTsm, public spirit, and intelKgencet 



44 AnVENTURES OP 

and accordingly informed her tiiat as soon as his gout got 
easy he would present her with a dashing husband. . Here- 
upon the sUly thing sheds a flood of tears, and utters a torrent of 
supplications ; but finding them of no avail, she persuades her 
brother to fly with her* to foreign parts. The young couple 
were traced to a vessel bound for Cape Fear; and what is the 
most singular of aU, Chester Rowton took passage in the same 
ship. It is supposed that by some means he got wind of his 
sweetheart's intentions and concealed himself on board until 
the vessel Was under weigh, and this is the only part of the 
whole matier from which old Sir Charles Yeamons can extract 
the least c msolation. I am desired to search for the fugitives, 
or to cause search t't) be instituted, and if possible send them 
back to England. A power of attorney is also enclosed, 
authorising me to act for the guardian, and I am conjured to 
be vigilant and faithful.y 

" A hard case, truljf like all love cases of which I ever 
heard or read^'^-saia the queen's sister ; " but my mind is 
made up ; let the lady follow her own inclinations. It is an 
old point, settled by numberless^adjtidications, that woman's 
heart is not to be bought or sold ; and certainly it shall never 
be said of me that I countenanced any such attempt." 
, " With submission," spoke Martin, " it seems, in my 
humble judgment, that that is not the question for me to con- 
sider. According to the laws of the realm, the guardian has 
control over the person of his ward, and no one can doubt 
the right of Sir Charles Yeamons to carry back his niece. 
Now, am I not substituted in his place, and is it not my 
duty to hunt out this erring damsel and restore her to her 
friends?" 

" By no means," said the Governor's lady; " no one has the 
right of imposing a duty on you against your will, except our 
gracious Sovereign. Although the guardian has empowered 
you to act in his place, you have not yet accepted that power ; 
and whether you should accept it or not is a mere question of 
propriety." 

" Spoken like a lawyer," exclaimed Carolina Matilda ; " I 
see. Monsieur Governor, you and your lady are no exception 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 45 

to the general rule — she is your better half j and I 'm sure 
you 'U not have the ill-grace to deny it." 

" Certainly not," answered the Governor ; " never shall I 
deny her the just praise for wisdom and goodness which is 
her meed. But admitting that i^ is a oijestion of propriety, 
what am I to do ? According to'' the evidence before me, I 
do not see that the lady wiU suffef^.any especial hardship if 
she is returned ; while it cannot be denied that, young, way- 
Ward, and poor as she is, she is no fit person to be wandering 
among strangers far from home, and with no friend but an 
inexperienced brother*" 

" Do you call it no hardship," asked Mrs. Martin, " to be 
forced to vow before heaven to love cherish and obey for life 
a man whom you hate ? for I take it for granted the girl by 
this time despises the man whom they would force upon her. 
For my part, I feel much for the poor damsel j and I think, 
husband, your proper course will be to find out where she 
abides ; see if she be among friends and has means, and if so 
let her remain where she is. Our first duty is to seek her out, 
and my heart misgives me that she may be in want." 

" Those are my sentiments precisely," said Carolina Ma- 
tilda J " and if I have any influence over you. Monsieur 
Governor, let me command you to take counsel of your lady 
in this matter, and to act under her advice. Believe me, sir, 
that a woman is the only proper judge in such a case. And 
now, if nothing farther claims our attention, we will adjourn 
the council." 



46 



ADVENTURES OP 



CHA-PTER XI. 

LIVE IN trtOKA— THE DOCTOR'S DETOTEDNESS TO ALICE. — ROBERT BLACaS. 
— SPECULATIOXS ON THE rOKTHCOMlNG TOURNAMENT. 




ttitE the conduct and situation' of Eot)ert " 
and Alice Bladen were the subjects of 
discussion at the Governor's palace^ 
the young liadj, unconscious of the inte-- 
rest she had excited elsewhere, was 
amusing herself with the people and 
affairs of Utopia, Every morning be-- 
fore she was up (and she was an early 
riser), she -vVas greeted by the little daughter' of Mrs. Ricketts, 
and presented by her with a bouquet of newly-gathered 
flovfersj after rising she spent some time with her brother, and 
then she gave audience to Dr. Ribs. Rorwton was for several 
days absent, and it was during his absence the beau pushed 
his fortunes in the court of Cupid with vigour and despatch. 
When he first divulged his sentiments to Alice, she listened 
to him with attention, feeling a strong disposition to indulge 
in mischief at the doctor's expense. He was led to believe 
that the manly beauties of his person had made a favourable 
impression, and that his flowing locks especially were the 
object of admiration. It was hinted, however, that they were 
not of the right colour, and accordingly he had them tinged 
with a hue so fiery red, that the children fled affrighted from 
the owner's presence. Alice was charmed with his appear- 
ance; "but alas !" said she, "my brother has discovered our 
inclinations, and he is bitterly opposed to the match which 
you propose. He has even made threats of violence, and I 
fear for your safety^ for he is brave, and cruelly true to his 
purposes." 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 47 

"Fear not for me, dear madam/' said Dr. Ribs, trembling 
in his limbs j " no man will dare to interfere with me. All 
the people are afraid of me ; and well they may be, for I'm 
not one to be trifled with, I do assure you, madam." 

" There is but one way to avoid thgf difficulty," replied 
Alicej " you must lull his suspicions by the tonsure." 

" The tonsure ? what is that ?" asked the beau ; " I never 
administered one in my life, though I have no doubt some 
doctors would use it to serve their ends." 

" It won't hurt Mm," answered Alice; "nor you either, for 
I will be the only sufferer. My brother knows my attach- 
ment for long red hair, and he will suspect you untU. you 
shave your head. I dislike to ask such a favour, but 1 'm 
sure you '11 oblige me, or rather disoblige me in one respect 
to gratify me in another. I must else forego seeing you with 
your hair on ; and you know which I w^ould choose." 

The doctor looked a little aghast at the request; but finally, 
assuring Alice that her will was his law, besought her to be 
herself the executioner of his offending locks. She declined 
the task; and her lover left her, to return in the evening with a 
head so denuded of its former capillary glory as to excite the 
horror of every beholder. The lady's next freak was to cause 
the beau to besmear his face with paint, and to draw in bright 
colours ; a large turkey gobbler on each cheek, so as to re- 
semble an Indian chief. Thus she amused herself from day 
to day, causing the doctor's friends to regard him as a lunatic, 
when a new thought occurred to her. There was to be a 
shooting match near the house of Eicketts, the prize being a 
bale of goods which the old Banker wished to dispose of 
Such exercises of skill were common in the neighbourhood; 
those who engaged in them paying so much for each chance 
or shot, and the owner of the prize generally getting two 
prices for his goods, for men in all countries have a pro- 
pensity for gambling. As soon as Alice heard of the proposed 
trial of skill, she communicated her wishes in regard to a cer- 
tain matter to Dr. Ribs, and he, treasuring her instructions, 
promised faithfully to carry them out. Having arranged the 
affair, and full of the notion of converting the match into a 



43 ADVENTURES OF 

sort of tournament, Alice approached her little gossip Utopia 
on the subject. 

" We must all choose us a beau for the occasion," said she 
to the girl ; " whom do you select ? " 

" I don't know what you mean. Miss Alice," said the girl. 

" Who is your sweetheart, then ?" inquired Alice. 

"I don't know," replied Utopia, laughing, and hanging 
her head. 

" Don't you like some one better than you do the others ?" 

" I like mother best." 

"Who next?" 

" You, I reckon," said the girl, still laughing, with con- 
fusion. 

" And whom next ? " asked Alice. 

" I don't know." 

" Tell me now truly," said Alice, " did you ever have a 
sweetheart?" 

" I never thought about it," answered Utopia, her head 
drooping on her breast, and her cheeks burning with blushes. 

" I know who 's your sweetheart," said Alice; "it is the 
little Pocosin," 

"Who's the little Pocosin?" asked Robert Bladen, who 
had stolen up behind his sister. 

"The sweetheart of Utopia," answered Alice; "though 
she won't acknowledge it;" 

" You 're giving her to the wrong one," said Robert, "for 
she's my intended. If I win you at the shooting match, may 
I have you, Utopia ?" 

" I don 't know what you mean," said the girl. 

'•Well, I '11 tell you," replied Robert; "I 'm going to take 
three chances at the match, and if I win the goods I '11 give 
them to you, and you must give yourseK to me in return. 
Won't you?" 

" I don 't know, sir," said the girl. 

" What will you give me, then ?" 

" I have no use for the goods." 

" Well, I '11 do this : if I win, I '11 sell the goods for money, 
and give it to you, and you must kiss me and learn to read. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 49 

. Jf ext year I '11 give you another guinea, and you must let me 
kiss you again, and must learn to write ; next year after that 
you must learn to sing, and I '11 kiss you again, and give you 
another guinea. Is it a bargain ? " The girl hung her head 
tod made no answer j and Alice asked her brother how he 
was going to fulfil his part of the contract, when he would 
be so far away from his little j)rot^ff6e. 

'^' What, will.ybu not go with us, Utopia? " asked Robert 
Bladen. 

" If mother will," answered the girl. ^i 

" I '11 find a way to send you the money," said Robert 
Bladen ; " and now, sister, what new foolery have you put 
into the head of Dr. Ribs ? " 

" That renowned and incomparable cavalier," answered 
Alice, " shall appear to-morrow in a manner worthy of him- 
self and his former fame. I have desired him to dress and 
act in the character of an Indian chief; and I think if we can 
survive his appearance, we 'II never forget it." 

" For my part," said Robert, " I think you have carried the 
joke far enough ; and I already feel uneasy for fear he may 
find out the tricks you have put upon him." 

" Never, never," exclaimed Alice ; " all the world, myself 
included, could not convince him that I am not in love with 
him to distraction. What a blessing is egotism ! " 

" It is, indeed," said Robert, " and the best of it is,^^fovi- 
dence has kindly bestowed it most freely on those who are 
the least attractive in the eyes of others." 

" Walter said he was going to shoot for you," said Utopia 
to Alice. 

" Going to do what?" asked Alice, with a voice and man- 
ner somewhat equivocal. 

" He said," answered the girl, " that he wouldn't shoot for 
the goods ; but if they were to put you up, he 'd take a hand." 
And hereat the girl laughed more than usual. 

" Master Walter is pert," exclaimed Alice, " and needs a 
lecture. Bring him to me this moment ; I will not rest till I 
curb his vanity." 

" He meant no harm," said Utopia. 
7 



50 ADVENTURES OF 

" Bring him to me," replied Alice ; " he 's a hopeful \&i, 
truly." 

" He says you must please to excuse him, as he 's busy," 
said Utopia, returning from her mission. 

" How great he 's grown ! " cried Alice, colouring ; " too 
busy, is he ? That young gentleman is getting impudent." 

" He says he meant no harm," said Utopia, " and that he 
was just in fun." 

" Sister," spoke Robert, " I see no reason why you should 
be displeased with Walter j in fact, I think you ought to feel 
flattered by his preference." 

" His preference ! Truly, brother, you forget who he is " 

" The admiration of a humble Banker is, as a mere tribute 
to beauty, as valuable as that of a noble lord. Besides, he 
has generous feelings, and you ought not wantonly to hurt 
them." 

" Then he ought to keep his feelings in their proper place," 
replied Alice ; " I have no desire to wound them, unless he 
make himself ridiculous." 

" He says he feels ridiculous now," said Utopia, laughing 
again. 

" Worse and worse ! " exclaimed Alice. " This noble 
youth first condescends to offer to gamble for me, and then 
feels ashamed of himself for having shown such regard ! Poor 
fellow, let him enjoy his vanity." 



OLD DAN TTTCKER. 51 




CHAPTEK XII. 

A •tOVKSSMy.'ST IN UTOPIA. — DK. KIBS APPEAES IN A NEW CHAKACTEE, AND 

COVERS HIMSELF WITH ANYTHING BUT GLOET. THE LITTLE POCOSIN THE 

VICTOR. — UTOPIA DECLARED QUEEN OT LOVE AND BEAUTY. — CONSTERNA- 
TION AMONG THE BANKERS. — " WILD BILl". — EXPLANATIONS AND PREPA- 
KATIONS. — MIGRATION OE CAPTAIN RIOKETTS AND HIS HOUSEHOLD. 

HE females, as well as males, attended 
in large numbers the " shooting-match.," 
at Utopia, and among them came Miss 
Polly Dawson, escorted by Chester 
Rowton. She seemed by no means 
vain of her brilliant conquest. Nor 
did she manifest the least symptom of 
' jealousy during the day, although Rowt 
ton devoted himself almost entirely to the English beauty. 

" I have seen the day," said he to Alice Bladen, " when I 
should not have ranked myself as second to any marksman in 
Europe," 

" I should be happy to see a specimen of your skiU to-day," 
replied Alice, " and I hope you wUl gratify my desire." 

" Become a competitor of these rustic loons ! " exclaimed 
Eowton : " surely. Miss Bladen, your estimation of me must 
have fallen, low as it was before." 

" It was not, Mr. Kowton, because I supposed you a fit 
associate of these men," said Alice, " that I wished to see you 
engaged in their sports. Our time begins to hang heavy on 
our hands, and I think each one is bound to contribute all hq 
can to the general amusement." 

" I might reply, that you have not so acted," answered 
Rowton, " but I '11 drop that for the present. I hereby ofier 
myself your servant, ready to minister to your pleasure in 
any way that you wiU be pleased to direct." 
. At this moment several voices called attention to an object 



5^' ADVENTURES OF ' 

advancing from the northj and all eyes turning in that direc- 
tion, beheld, distinctly marked upon the clear horizon, a 
strange and portentous figure. On it came at a rapid pape, 
the sailors half believing it to be a bodiless apparition, and 
it even filled the Bankers with amazement and dread, until its 
near approach disclosed the person of Dr. Ribs. A bear-skin 
ornamented with a scarlet band, and a plume of turkey fea- 
thers, was twisted about his head ; from his waist up he was 
covered with a closely-fitting shirt, on which was painted a 
whole menagerie of beasts, birds, and reptiles ; shorts made 
of untanned and uncurried deer skin pinched his legs as far 
down as his knees, and from these to the soles of his feet he 
was protected only by a thick coat of red paint, with spiral 
stripes of black and white. A quiver of arrows hung upon 
his shoulders, on his left arm he carried a bow, and parallel 
with his horse's neck lay a wooden lance in rest. 

" Sc[uee-ou ! " he shouted as he galloped up, " clear de way 
for de big Chowanoc ! Squee-ou-oo ! " continued he, as he 
swiftly circled round the astounded group. " Je-whoop-ee 
de Chowanoc !" and with this he let fly an arrow, aimed at a 
distant tree, but which went wide of the mark, and struck 
Captain E-icketts in the back with such force that he bounded 
into the air with a nimbleness which astonished himself. 

*' SquecTOU I " again shouted the motley cavalier, as he 
poised his lance and started on another circuit, to the conster- 
nation of all on the beach. " ' Squee-hee ? ' Squee-devil ! " 
cried a sailor, springing at the bridle of the doctor's horse, 
and stopping the animal so suddenly that the rider tumbled 
oft. " Squee-devil and all his angels till ye ! Ye should 
come to an anchor when yer rudder's gone." The crowd 
were of the same opinion, and the unlucky beau, notwith- 
standing the interposition of Alice Bladen, was kept a close 
prisoner until the shooting was over. He swore, chafed, and 
begged to as little purpose as if he had been talking in the 
original Chowanoc ; and, to his inexpressible grief, another 
carried off the prize. That other was Robert Bladen, who was 
as good as his word, handing Utopia a guinea, and when he 
found a secret chance, imprinted on her burning lips a Mss, 



/'%* 




■«^ 









i4^ 



1"'^ 

















m 4 ' V 



OLD DAN TUCKEfe, 53 

vhile her heart seemed to be violently struggling to force its 
way through her bosom. 

The doctor was now released ; and, burning with a desire to 
show his skill before his mistress, he declared himself the best 
horseman in the company, and proposed immediately to put 
his powers to the proof by riding to the top of one of the 
neighbouring sand-hUls. They (the hills) were some fifty 
feet high, steep, and composed entirely of loose sand, but the 
doctor's boast, so far from being considered extravagant, 
excited at once a general emulation. Various rewards were 
proposed ; and finally it was agreed that the first who accomr 
plished the ascent on horseback, should receive a wreath of 
flowers, and that the lady to whom he presented them should 
be considered the queen of love and beauty in all Utopia, 
Every hoysenian now whipped and spurred his animal at a 
furious rate, and soon the sides of the highest hill were 
covered with steeds and riders rolling over each other and 
covered with sand. Even Rowton, famous for the grace and 
ease with which he managed his horse, despaired at last of 
accomplishing the feat, and it was declared on all sides to be 
impossible. At this juncture the little Pocqsin, who had not 
before shown himself, appeared, and ascending with his pony 
to the top of the hill, which so many had tried, made him 
leap from that to another, and then came down in safety. 
Immense was the applause excited by the performance of this 
extraordinary feat — great were the encomiums bestowed on 
Walter, still greater those showered on his pony, which now 
received a large addition to its already extensive catalogue of 
names. The men clustered about the horse — the only and 
much-beloved horse of Captain Ricketts-^the girls gazed 
pleasingly at Walter, towards whom every female face, with 
one exception, was turned, all wreathed in gracious smiles. 
Even Alice Bladen looked kindly at him, but he heeded her 
not ; and going straight to the girl by her side, little Utopia, 
placed on her head the wreath of flowers. She excited no 
envy — she was too small, and meek, and obscure for that — ■• 
but no cheers greeted her coronation, and the awkward lad 
who had singled her out, left her without saying a word ; and 



54 ADVENTUBES OF 

taking his employer ^side, told him something that seemed ta 
affect him much. 

■ " Gentlemen and neighbours," cried the old man, excited j 
" gentlemen and neighbours. Wild Bill's about ! " 

This simple and mysterious announcement produced a sud- 
den and singular effect on the Bankers, among whom every 
other subject seemed to be instantly forgotten, while their 
manner and speech betrayed not a little trepidation, as the 
name of " Wild Bill " vas repeatedly pronounced. 

Alice Bladen, and even her brother, though ignorant of 
the cause of excitement, caught the contagion, and became 
alarmed ; nor were their fears entirely allayed by what they 
heard from Chester Eowton, " And is it possible," said he, 
addressing himself particularly to Alice Bladen, " that you 
have been here so long and heard nothing of Wild Bill, the 
terror of all the surrounding country ?" 

" Who is he, and what is he ? " asked Alice, anxiously ; 
" tell us at once, for this suspense is intolerable." 

" He. is a negro," answered Eowton, " who years ago ran 
away from his master, and has put his owner, the courts, and 
the Government at defiance. He lives in the swamps and 
in obscure and artificial caves in the sand, and is, according 
to tradition, the head of a band of outlaws, white and black, 
and whose ravages extended for many miles along the coast, 
and far up into the settlements. For years they have been 
the terror of the people beyond the Sound, as well as of the 
simple inhabitants of this beach, who keep for him a regular 
watch, and hoist signals along the sand to warn each other 
when he is supposed to be near." 

" Has he been seen lately?" asked Alice; "where is he, 
and what has he done to cause the excitement?" 
. " Whether he has been seen or not, what he has done, and 
where he is," replied Rowton, " no one knows ; they only 
know that the signal is up, and the whole may be a false 
alarm. The truth is. Bill and his exploits have become apo- 
cryphal ; and though no one can, of his own knowledge, tes- 
tify to the horrors of his appearance, or even that there is such 
a being, yet, like the Evil One, he is the hero of a thousand 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 53 

dim and terrible traditions, has been endowed with "the attri-" 
bute of ubiquity, and is the constant object of alarm to 
old women, children and imaginative men, the mysterious 
and dread-importing ' they say,' always prefacing the narra- 
tive of his dark deeds and darker looks. Thus has his name 
become a spell that conjures up a thousand vague fears and 
monstrous fancies, and the cry of ' Wild Bill,' even in the 
upper settlements, scares the farmer from his fields, and hur- 
ries home the lagging school-boy. For my own part, I 
believe these stories are sustained by a very slender founda«- 
tion of truth, and as to Bill's being " — 

"What stories is them you speak of ?" asked a Banker, 
who had approached, and whose looks indicated that his ima- 
gination was fearfully awake, and his power of hearing, just 
then, intensely acute. 

" The stories of Wild Bill, your great bug'bear," replied 
Eowton. " What do they say he 's done ? " inquired the 
man, becoming more excited. " Is the Great Bug-Bear with 
him ? I should'nt be surprised if there 's forty of them, and 
they say they're all armed with muskets, pistols, and dirks. 
Oh, Lord, what is to be done ! " and with this, and without 
waiting for an explanation, he rushed into the crowd, which, 
hearing a part of his story, and catching all his fears, was 
stricken pale with fear, its terrors being increased by the 
shrieks and cries of the women and children. 

The captain of the lost ship and his sailors, though sharing 
little of the dread that paralyzed the majority, were stiU at a 
loss what to do, and Chester Rowton and old Eicketts showed 
themselves the master-spirits of the occasion. They, and 
they only, retained their self-possession ; they harangued and 
exhorted the crowd, and having recovered it from its confu- 
sion, and hushed the cries of the women, endeavoured to 
organize a system of defence. The cargo — the object of soli- 
citude with the sailors, was to be guarded by them — the 
bankers, generally, under the command of Captain Rickets 
were to station themselves at the house of a poor man in the 
neighbourhood, and Rowton, with a few resolute Utopians, 
and the little Pocosin, were to go in quest of the object of 



56 ADVENTURES OF 

terror. In explanation of this system, Ricketts declared, that 
he. Being the richest man in the country, he had no doubt 
Wild Bill was aiming at his house ; that he would remove 
his goods and effects, and leave his faithful old negress to 
Watch, and that she would secretly bring word to him while 
Bill was rioting with his companions on a few kegs of 
litjuor which would be left for him, and thus he would fall an 
easy prey to the Bankers. The women were to go with 
Ribketts ; and as the place where he proposed to station him-i 
self was distant only a mile from the cargo, it was supposed 
that his party and the sailors could readily assist each other 
in the case of an attack. This plan met with general appro- 
bation 5 but a few, consisting of Robert Bladen, hvB sister^ 
the wife of Ricketts, and the little PoCosin, utterly refused to 
sanction it. Alice and her brother could not be induced to 
leave the immediate neighbourhood of the sailors, and Mrs. 
Rickettsj her little daughter, and Walter, declared they 
would keep them company. Persuasions and entreaties were 
used in vain ; but old Ricketts, as he supposed, had a right 
to enforce the obedience of his own household, and accord^ 
ingly, his wife and step daughter Were compelled to foUow 
him. As to Walter] he resolved to die before he would 
accompany the scouting party, and he was finally permitted 
to accompany Ricketts. The Bladens firmly adhered to theii? 
determination of remaining near their English friends, and 
their wishes were reluctantly complied with, but Rowton asked 
in vain for permission to keep them company. His coolness 
and energy had made themselves felt among the BankerSj 
whose leader, by unanimous conseHt, he now became ; and 
thus, after many tender and half-whispered protestations, he 
took a sorrowful leave of his wilful mistress and her head* 
strong brother* 



OLD DAN TUCltEK. 57 




CHAPTEB XIII. 

THE ESCAPE rnOM UTOPIA. —THE LITTLE POOOSIN CONDUCTS ^™^ j,,.r,,Ti»rEg 
TO HIS PATHEE's house.— old DAN MOEALISES. 

HE sun was setting ■when the bankei 
separated ; and as the twilight began to 
deepen into darkness, an uncomfortable 
sensation crept over Alice Bladen and 
her brother. The former especially 
became restless, uneasy, and finally 
alarmed, nor could she dispel her fears, 
although she could not account for them. 
A full knowledge of her situation revealed itself to her ; she 
reflected on her position, a stranger, with only one near friend, 
on a foreign and bleak coast and among a rude and barbarous 
people. The water hemmed her in on every side, and it was so 
dangerous that no ship could ride in safety ; she was without 
companions of her own sex of equal rank, and she was, too, likely 
to remain in such a place for some time under the protection 
of one to whom she wished to owe no obligations. Her bro- 
ther in vain combated her thick-coming fancies, and to a late 
hour they promenaded from the cargo to their late residence, 
talking of home and the recollections which it awakened. 
While they were thus engaged, they descried objects moving 
on the sand, and the lady was nearly petrified with terror, 
when a familiar voice pronounced her name. It was the 
little Pocosin who spoke, and who, after being answered that 
no one was near but Bladen, and his sister, informed them 
that his companion, Utopia, had something of importance to 
communicate. Alice was delighted to meet with the girl, 
almost forgetting her fears in the presence of one of her own 
sex in whom she confided ; nor did the girl seem less pleased 
at the meeting; but her mission was urgent, and she pro- 
s' 



58 AnVENTUBES OF 

ceeded at oncej and in the most simple manner, to tell the 
object of her visit. 

" Mother says you must leave Very quick." said she, ad- 
dressing herself to Alice j " you must go right off, for you 're 
in danger." 

"Go where?" exclaimed Robert j "and in danger of 
what?" 

" I don 't know, sir," answered Utopia ; " I don 't know 
what the danger is i but you must go off as soon as you can 
with Walter.'* 

" Merciful heaven ! " cried Alices, " 1 knew it, I knew it ! 
Oh, what shall I do?" 

"Knew what?" asked her brothen "Come, sister^ don*t 
let your fears unnerve you until you know what to be afraid 
of. Tell me in brief^ sir," continueid he to Walter, " the 
cause of this visit, for the girl hardly seems to know what she 
is about. Who sent you here — what did you come for — what 
is the danger, and where are we to go ?" 

" I came at the request of Mrs. Rickettsj and this little 
girl," replied Walter, "and you are to go with me to my 
father's. What the danger is, this girl only knows ; that is, 
she and her mother.'* 

" Mother*s other husband — uncle Ike — I call him," said 
the girl, " came to me, and asked me if I was *nt a friend of 
yours, and I told him I was — ' and can you keep a secret,' 
said he ; I told him yes, ' Will you swear to keep it a secret ?' " 

" Oh, balderdash!" exclaimed Bladen, " come to the point 
at once, and never mind this rigmarole.*' 

" Yes, sir," said Utopia, meekly. 

"Brother," said Alice, "you are too harsh; go on, Utopia, 
and tell your story in your own way." 

" He asked me if I would swear to keep it a secret from 
everybody but you," continued the girl, " and mother and I 
told him I would 'nt swear, but I 'd promise, Then he used 
a very bad word, and said that there was a scheme on foot to 
—to do you harm, and told me to let you know of it as soon 
as possible." 

" What harm ? to do what ? " asked Alice, quickly. 



OLP DAN TUCKEH. 69 

" I don 't know," replied Utopia ; " he never said, only that 
you would he carried off", and your hrother and Walter killed. 
He said he could 'nt tell me any more, and when I told 
mother, she said she had expected something, and made me 
come to see you. She told me to tell you from her not to 
stay a moment, but tp go with "Walter as soon as you could 
get ready." 

"A pretty tale!" explaimed Robert, "a pretty tale, truly! 
And who, I should like to be informed, is to vouch for 
Walter's fidelity ? I would trust you, my little sweetheart, 
and I know that you are honest in all you say ; but you have 
been imposed on, that's clear, and I suspect this young hero 
knows more than he cares to tell." 

" I vouch for myself," said Walter ; " I vouch for myself, 
sir, and can ouly assure you of the honesty of my intentions. 
I excuse your suspicions, but — but no one else should talk to 
me so. If you can trust me, I am ready to take you to a 
place of safety-^if you cannot, I will stand and fall by the 
side of this lady, and when my blood is flowing at her feet, 
you may then judge whether it comes from the heart of a 
traitor." 

" I believe every word you say, Walter," spoke Alice ; " I 
will trust in you, and leave at once." 

" I prefer to put my trust in the true hearts and stout arms 
of these loyal Englishmen," said Robert Bladen, " and in my 
own well-tempered blade, sister ; these people may be true or 
false, but we 'U have nothing to do with them. Let us to 
our countrymen ; they will stand by us to the death, and with 
them only are we safe." 

" Brother, let us foUow Walter," answered Alice ; " some 
of the sailors are drunk, and others may have been corrupted. 
Come, 1 must have my way." 

She was as good as her word, and she and her brother were 
soon ready to leave, the captain of the stranded ship, to whom 
every thing had been communicated, having selected two of 
his most faithful men to carry their baggage. The utmost 
secresy was enjoined on these men. They were cautioned to 
hurry back, and reveal to no one but their commander the 



60 ADVENTURES OF 

hiding-place of the persons whom they were to escort ; and 
they were also commanded to be as noiseless as possible 
on their return. Utopia would neither go with her patrons 
nor remain with the sailors, and, against eyery persuasion and 
entreaty, started on her return alone, having with a smile, 
bade Alice and her brother farewell, and permitted both to 
kiss her. 

Alice watched her tUl her little form faded in the darkness 
and then set out on her journey — ^the longest journey which 
she had ever undertaken on foot, though from her childhood 
she had loved to ramble over the fields and among the woods. 
The whole night long she was on the road, and the morning 
found her weary and faint, and several miles from her desti- 
nation. At length, and as the sun was rising, the little 
Pocosin halted the company, which he had been guiding 
eastwardly, and informed them that in the water to their 
right was an island on which his father lived. 

He then drew from his pocket a whistle, which he blew 
several times, and in answer to which a shrill sound was 
wafted faintly back. After a short time a canoe glistened like 
a black speck on the white bosom of the waters, and soon the 
cheerful face of Pocosin Dan flashed back the rays of the 
morning sun. The old gentleman, however, as soon as he 
saw the number and character of his guests, returned for a 
larger boat, and thus his son and his companions were delayed 
for some time longer on the beach ; a delay which, weary as 
they were, was hardly felt. The excitement of novelty had 
banished all sensation of fatigue ,• the breeze that met them 
seemed to be the perfumed breath of spicy groves, and to be 
laden with the varied fragrance of cinnamon, balm and 
myrrh; and the dark green foliage of a thick forest that 
fringed the waters on the farther side, presented a refreshing 
contrast to the naked desolation of the beach. The excited 
imaginations of Alice and her brother began to draw pictures, 
of a terrestrial paradise, which they almost believed they were 
about to see ; and flocks of birds, spangled with shining colours, 
and the cloudless skies of a bright and breezy summer morn- 
ing, enhanced the pleasant illusion. No such country revealed 



OLD DAN TTJCKEE. 61 

its ravishing beauties to their straining eyes ; but they did land 
upon a shore -which, though not an Eden, glittered with a 
gay carpet of a thousand tints, and was shaded by forests of 
cedar, cypress, pine and oaks, among whose branches hung 
immense clusters of purple grapes in arbours fit for the revels 
of Bacchus and his enamoured nymphs. The startled deer 
rose from his lair, and gazed curiously at the travellers as they 
passed near his morning couch ; flocks of wild turkeys were 
feeding unfrightened among the flowers, and a bear galloped 
bS to a covert of neighbouring bushes. It was now noon, 
but Alice walked beneath a leafy canopy that subdued and 
softened the rays of the sun, and her eyes and ears were 
drinking in the cheerful sights and sounds of the first natural 
forest she had ever entered. She was not in a mood to talk, 
and she heard little of what was said by others, feeding 
her half dreaming fancy on thoughts not to be uttered by 
mortal lips, until the spell of enchantment which bound her 
was broken by the recollection of mortal cares and mortal 
wants, awakened by the sight of a human residence. 

The house of Old Dan Tucker, was a small and airy tene-i 
ment composed of a frame of scantling, weather-boarded with 
cypress shingles, that were grey with age and moss, and 
shaded by a few live oaks, whose multitudinous arms were 
clasped together above the roof. The doors faced east and west j 
on which sides the view was bounded by the water ; near the 
iiorth end were the ruins of an old fort, and at the south a row 
of negro cabins, barns, and stables. The furniture in the house 
was not rich, but rare and curious, and the walls of the room 
were hung round with Indian relics, memorials of the chase, 
natural curiosities, and arms of an ancient fashion. The owner 
of this mansion, moving noiselessly about, made no bustling 
parade of hospitable desires, but in every line and feature of 
his face shone a quiet hearty welcome ; his twinkliug eyes, 
showed that he quickly caught and sympathised with the 
varying emotions of his guests, as they rose in their bosoms, 
and his softly uttered orders anticipated all their wants. Those 
who rowed the boat had returned without landing on the 
island, and Dan and his guests were attended by servants, who 



6f ADVENTURES OF 

gazed curiously, but not impertinently, at tlie visitors, and 
whose respectful manners manifested a position in the houses, 
hold between that of slaves and equals. 

Old Dan listened attentively, but with not much apparent 
astonishment, to the account of the recent occurrences on the 
beach, at Utopia; and when he had heard it through, re-! 
marked, that the danger was not yet over. 

" You would be welcome to live at my house always," said 
he to Robert, " and I am sure I 'd never get tired of looking 
at the sweet face of your little sister there — she's a beautiful 
human blossom ! — but there's a dark spirit at work, and you'll 
certainly be followed here. There 's some devilish scheme 
at the bottom of all that fuss over yonder, take my word for 
it ; and the farther off this innocent lady can get, the better." 

" "What makes you think so, uncle Dan ?" asked Alice, 
laughing j " I can't imagine how I could have been the 
cause of Wild Bill's late outbreak, and bad as he is, I 'm cer- 
tain I never wished him any harm." 

"And there's where you've sinned," replied Dan; "you're 
a most precious sinner, I tell you." Alice coloured at this 
reproof, and hardly knew whether to resent it or not, until 
Dan proceeded : " The truth is," continued he, " this is a 
curious world, any way you can fix it; and it 's past my 
comprehension. I 've studied it over and over ; I 've taken 
it up one side and down another, and then end-wise, and 
length-wise, and cross-wise, but I can make nothing out of 
it. It 's cursed, that 's a fact; it's filled with all sorts 
of monstrous villains, and none but villains can get along 
comfortably in it. Sometimes a bright, smiling innocent 
creature — like you. Miss Alice — comes into it, and looks as 
refreshin' and sweet as a wild rose in the middle of the sand 
— and soon she becomes the centre of all sorts of schemes 
and rascally manoeuvres. She seems to stir up all the evil 
passions of the world, and, poor thing, without meanin' any 
harm to a livin' thing, and wishin', as I know you wish, by 
your looks, that all the world was good and happy and at 
peace, she is the cause of endless strife and bloodshed." 

" I 'd better go and die at once, if that's to be my mission 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 03 

here,*' said Alice ; " but I can 't believe it. You have lired 
in these lonely 'woodsj uncle Dan, until your imagination has 
become diseased." 

"I have a reason for livin' here/' replied Danj "and i^ 
you'll all listen to me while breakfast is preparin' I '11 teU, 
yon a story about the old times, which will prove whether I 
judge the world right or not." Both Alice and her brother 
expressed themselves as desirous of hearing the old man's 
story, and carefully taking a violin from a drawer, and exe^ 
euting with a master's touch a soft and plaintive air, he sat 
for few minute in sUeut reverie^ and then related the follow- 
ing tale* 



CHAPTER XlVi 



THE STOKt or OLD DAN XtJCKEB. 




0MB folks," said the old fiddler, *' can't 
tell their own history without going 
into the history of all their forefathers. 
Now, for my part I never cared much 
about these things j we all came from 
Adam; and though I 've no doubt the 
race of the Tuckers has always been 
_ _ , ,' honest and honourable, yet I don't con- 
sider that this makes me any better than other people. I 'm 
bound to say, however, that I 'm proud of my father ; he was a 
good, and I may say, a great man, and a real philosopher. He 
used to live on this very island; and right back of my house 
in them woods you saw as you came up, he and.my mother is 
buried; but my mother died first. "When she died, father 
could n't bear to stay here ; so he sold out, all except a few 
of his negroes, and moved away up the country, and settled 
on the banks of the Roanoke river. He loved that name of 



64 ADVENTURES OF 

Eoanoke, and one of his greatest friends was an Injun by that 
name. He wasn't all Injun, hut he was descended from one, 
and he was a nohle old man. He and father used to be a 
great deal together : they talked philosophy and politics to- 
gether, hunted together, and fished together. Father, as I; 
said, was a philosopher: he had hut two children, me and my 
little sister, a sweet and beautiful little girl. 

" We were never sent to school, hut were taught at home 
by father ; and he took great pains with our education, in- 
structing both of us in ancient history, and the science of 
government, as he used to call it. We lived very much to 
ourselves, father not allowing us to visit much among our 
neighbours. We were a family of fiddlers ; father played on 
the fiddle — I played and sister played ; and if we did live 
to ourselves, we used to make ourselves happy and merry, I 
can tell you. Old Eoanoke was very fond of music too : 
he would come and stay with us a week at a time ; and at last 
he sent his son, his only child, to live with us and to learn to 
play the fiddle. The lad was about my age — a generous, 
sharp, handsome youth ; and as sister was his main teacher, 
they began to get very intimate, and, as I and father thought 
and hoped, in love with each other. 

" Now we had one neighbour at whose house we used to 
visit; father was wont to say he was not a barbarian, because 
he could appreciate music, and used to bring his daughter to 
hear us. She was a monstrous sweet girl, that Sally Jones, 
but her father was proud and aristocratic, and like my father, 
would 'nt let his child associate with hardly anybody in the 
neighbourhood. She was mightily tickled at first when she 
saw young Roanoke, who still dressed and acted like the 
Injuns, though he was nearly as white as I was. She had 
never seen an Injun afore, and she stared at him and stared 
at him ; then she examined his dress, and at last got to talk- 
ing very familiarly to him, asking him a great many ques- 
tions about his forefathers, their customs and manners. As 
for sister she had been used to Injuns, and knowed all about 
them, and so she and Sally became very intimate, visited each 
other, and told each other all their secrets. As young 



' *^ 



'Jtei*- "^ tl 



1 



-^ )• 



^\* 




1 ^fi^ ,^4 .Ir. ;*^ ^, 1, I 




DAN rUCKEB IN LOVE. 



OtD DAN TUCKER. 65 

Roanoke was always with sister, of course he was a great deal 
•in the company of Miss Sally Jones; and as I began to like 
the girl, I used to send messages and f)resents by him to her. 
The truth is," continued old Dan, heaving a deep sigh, 
the truth is — yes I must confess it — I loved Sally Jones. 
i loved her with all my heart — I loved every article of dress 
she wore, and I remembered everything she said. But the 
more I loved her, the more I was afraid of her. I even got 
so that I could not talk to her; but you may depend upon it, 
I made my fiddle talk! I improved amazingly — I could 
almost make myself cry with my sentimental tunes; and 
when I was where she was, I always played these. 

"After playing round her for a long, time, and playing at her> 
and sighing, and looking sad at her, and hinting to her, I at 
last screwed my courage up to the point, and went to tell he? 
fay feelings. I took my fiddle with me : I played severE^l of my 
most affectihg tunes to her (we were all alpiie), and then I 
began to tell her my mind. I bega,n a good way ofi", and stam- 
mered about mightily at first ; but gradually I warmsd up, and 
then such a speech as I did make, her ! .When I got through, 
she looked at me so kindly and sweetly that my heart got right 
up into my throat; and, with a voice as sweet as her looks, she 
said, says she, ' I 'm very sorry for you, but you 're too late, 
Mr. Tuckei:; I 've already given my heart away.' 

" It's no use to talk about how I felt, it 's all over now; but 
I must say that them words, 'You're too late Mr. Tucker,' 
have been ringing in my ears ever since. I composed a melan- 
choly tune on it; and it got to be a by-word among all th^ 
young people of the country, ' You're too late, Mr. Tucker.' " 

" But, who the deuce could she be in love with ? I told 
over the whole matter to Roanoke ; and he — he was a real 
gentleman — shed tears when he told me he loved Miss Sally 
Jones. He declared that he never had dreamed that I loved 
her ; and that he never had told his own feelings to herj 
•though sister had, and had talked to Miss Sally for him. 

" ' If it is not too late, Mr. Tucker,' said he, ' I '11 resign 

in your favour, and I '11 leave the neighbourhood, and never 

see her again." 
9 



66 ADVBNTUEES OP 

" I then went to sister to chide her for trying to benefit 
another to my ruin; but she laughed right out, and said, 
' Why did 'nt you tell me this long ago ? You 're too late 
now ; I 've done all I could for your friend, and Sally Jones 
loves him to distraction.' 

*' So she did, but her father did 'nt ; but Miss Sally cried 
and fretted till the old man had to let them get married, 
though he never would give them one cent of property. The 
Injun was proud and high-spirited j he would 'nt let anybody 
treat him as an inferior, and so he took his beautiful bride, 
whom he loved very tenderly, and carried her off to his own 
country. My father was a little touched by my misfortunes j 
but he finally laughed it off, saying to me every day after this, 
" Daniel, my son, you are always too late." So I was after 
this ; I went into a moping mood and noticed nothing, while 
father was too much engaged to pay attention to the visits of a 
strange character who came into the neighbourhood. This 
was a young scape-gallows who belonged to a race common 
in them days ; he was a ' Frontier Wolf,' which was a kind 
of people without home, parents, or name. They were the 
children of runaways, thieves and adventurers ; were born in 
the swamps and on the sands down in Arabia, and in such, 
places, where they have no wives and husbands, or else 
swap them about or have them all in common. Their chil- 
dren generally have but one name, which we call the chris- 
tened name, though certainly precious few of them knew 
what a christening was ; and as they grew up, they took some 
other nickname, or else their companions gave them one. 
Thus I have known a Tom Shortlegs, a Bill Squint, a Jack 
Tearshirt, and a Jim Flatfoot ; and thus it is, no doubt, that 
that bony rascal, Tim Ribs, got his name. I 've no doubt 
he was one of these nameless children of the desert j and his 
sirname of Ribs was given to him on account of his poverty- 
stricken body. Well, this fellow who used to come about 
our neighbourhood was called Sam Step-and-fetch-it; an odd 
name, but which suited him exactly. He was a light, spry, 
nimble-witted lad ; had a good face and a straight leg, and 
sung a song remarkably well. He was a p^dler of small 



OLD DAN TTJCKKR. 6T 

■wares, and every sort of odd notion ; was a merry-hearted 
fellow, and was amazing fond of talking to the girls. They 
were fond of him, too ; and thus while I was in the dumps 
for Sally Jones, and father was engaged with his philosophy, 
sister found time to get well acquainted with the young 
pedler. She would make him sing for her, and tell her 
stories about his strange life and adventures ; and the upshot 
of the whole of it was, she ran away with him, and married 
him. Poor thing! no doubt she loved him, and was afraid 
to tell father or me of it; this caused her to marry him 
secretly, and then she was ashamed to come back. Thus one 
folly follows another ; and thus my dear sister disappeared, 
and I have never seen or heard from her since. God knows 
I would freely forgive her, and love her still, if she would 
return ; but I shall go down to the grave without ever seeing 
again her bright eyes, or hearing the prattle of her gentle 
voice." The old man's eyes were moist, and there was a 
silence of some moments before he thus continued his story: 
" Father sent me out in search of sister, and for months I 
roamed over the country, always carrying my fiddle with 
me ; and I'd often hear of her, and get on her track, but 
always too late. ' My son,' said father, when I came home, 
'women are all weak, foolish creatures, always excepting your 
sainted mother. Do n't you see how they all like and run 
after foreigners ? Sally Jones loved your rival because he 
was an Injun, and she had never seen an Injun before ; and 
your sister would n't love him because she did know him, and 
loved that frontier Wolf, Sam Step-and-fetch-it, because he 
was an outlandish son of an outlandish race. I never knew 
but one woman that was a woman as a woman ought to be ; 
and that was your mother. Get all our things ready and let us 
move back to Roanoke Island ; I want to spend the evening 
of my days near my sainted Mary's grave.' Again I was 
too late ; father sickened and died before we could get off; 
but I brought his body here, and laid it beside my mother's. 
That's all my history that's worth hearing now." 

It did not seem to the company that they had heard all that 
was interesting in the story of Dan ; they wished to know 



f58 ADVENTUEES OF 

whom, when and how he had finally married, and what had 
become of the mother of "Walter. But Dan appeared dis- 
posed to be silent on these subjects, and his guests were too 
civil to ask him any questions about them. 



CHAPTEE XV. 




3HK. ZIP COON AERIVBS ON A VISIT TO POOOSIN BAN — POLITICS AND PEEJTDICES. 
A WAK OP WORDS AND A CONTEST OP SWEET SOUNDS. 



HAT evening, quite a sensation was pro- 
duced on the premises of Pocosin Dan 
by the arrival of another guest. It was 
no less a personage than the famous Zip 
Coon, a hale and hearty old fellow j upon 
whom the weight of forty-five years 
, hung as lightly as did the garments that 
encased his giant proportions. He was 
dressed in his Sunday apparel ; his immense bell-crowned 
hat sitting like a pyramid reversed upon the crown of his 
head, and leaving exposed his curly black hair sprinkled with 
a few grey blossoms ; his blue coat with its metal buttons, its 
long, peaked tail, and its high, stiff collar, had been carefully 
cleaned and brushed ; and his loose buff trowsers were suffi- 
ciently short to show with what care his boots had been var- 
nished. A huge ruffle ornamented the bosom of his shirt, the 
chain of his watch jingled with a bunch of seals and keys, 
and the small patch of whiskers under each ear had been 
trimmed and curled with the nicest eare. There was a con- 
stant frown upon the brow of Zip; his motions were violent, 
and his voice loud and sturdy ; but despite the roughness of 
his manner and harshness of his words, it was easy to see 
that his big heart was as warm as his face was red. Equally 
plain was it that he enjoyed life with lively relish, though he 
affected to live only among the recollections of that remote 
and undefined antiquity known in all ages as " the good old 



OLD DAN TUCKKK. 69 

times;" nor did his looks justify the epithet which had be- 
come indissolubly connected with bis name. In fact, the word 
old has often a different meaning from that of aged, an asser- 
tion proved by the case of Mr. Coon, whom his mother 
called " Old Zip," when he lay a burly infant in her lap, and 
who was thus ever afterwards known. He seemed to be an 
old friend of Pocosin Dan's, and of his servants, each of 
whom he shook cordially by the hand, while Dan conferred 
the same honour on Booker, the favourite slave and constant 
companion of Zip. As soon as these ceremonies were finished 
Old Zip cast his eyes towards a sideboard, and Dan under- 
standing the hint, a flask of brandy instantly appeared, and 
was quickly emptied of at least one half its contents. Mr. Coon 
next looked curiously at Robert Bladen and his sister, and 
his host again understanding him, related what he knew of 
their history, telling them at the same time that his new guest 
was an old acquaintance of his, a Virginian, and a fiddler of 
note. The dangers and troubles of the young English couple 
furnished Old Zip with a text, from which he began a tirade 
against the Province of North Carolina, and against his friend 
Pocosin Dan, for dwelling among such people. Dan was not 
prepared to admit the truth of any of Zip's assertions touch- 
ing these matters, and soon the two friends fell into a furious 
dispute, each one manfully contending for the honour of his 
Province and denouncing the country of the other, its insti- 
tutions, its inhabitants, and their manners and customs. There 
was about Mr. Coon's manner a smack of the modem orator, 
for his gestures were a little pompous, and, though arguing 
with his host, he addressed himself chiefly to the bystanders. 
Dan, on the contrary, though he did not speak so loud, laugh 
so often, nor flourish his arms so furiously, spoke straight at 
his antagonist, emphasising each sentence by slapping his 
right hand into the palm of his left, and hurling a shower of 
pungent arrows, every one of which struck its mark. There 
was another point of difference between the friends. Old 
Zip was more ready to attack, but Old Dan the more tireless 
when the fight was begun ; and thus, to the great relief of the 
spectators, he at last worried down his opponent, and the 



70 ADVENTUBES OP 

strife for a while ceased. The Bladens now prevailed on 
them to tune their violins and engage in a more entertaining 
rivalry; butwhen Zip, after much blowing, spitting, and 
screwing, had got his instrument ready, the fiddlers could not 
agree upon a tune. Dan was for playing certain Scotch airs, 
which were favourites with him; Mr. Coon preferred the 
Virginia reel, and so they were soon in the midst of 
another dispute. Waxing warm in the strife, each struck up 
a different air, which he performed tastefully and accurately, 
without being in the least confused by the music of the other. 
Thus they continued, becoming more and more lively and 
animated, the one pouring himself out on " George Booker, " 
the other carried away by " Killecrahkie : " the one swaying to 
and fro, patting his feet and droning with his voice ; the other 
sitting straight and motionless as to his body, his head thrown 
back, and his upturned eyes " in a fine frenzy rolling," till at 
last, in a perfect frenzy, old Zip threw his whole soul into 
that brisk reel which has been called after him ever since, 
while Pocosin Dan discoursed in the most ravishing manner 
that immortal tune with which his name is likely to be linked 
for ever. Having thus displayed their powers, their inde- 
pendence and their tastes, the rival fiddlers became extremely 
amicable and harmonious, and played in concert for the rest 
of the evening. 

Their music, which had held in mute rapture the three 
young listeners, finally gave Way to an anxious consultation, 
in which each one present took a part, and which con- 
cerned the future conduct of more than Robert Bladen 
and his sister. The siuation of the little Pocosin was an em- 
barrassing one, for his father was satisfied, for some un- 
expressed reason, that it was improper to continue him 
longer with Ricketts, while he was too scrupulously honest to 
forfeit his word. The lad himself had no desire to return, 
for he was disgusted with the manners of the bankers, whose 
mode of life he could not endure. It was finally agreed, 
however, that he should for the present go back to the 
beach, though he was to delay his journey until his father. Zip 
Coon, and their English friends could start for New Berne, 




ItUl ir UUSrCAL SKILL BETWEEN DAN TUCKER AND ZIP COON. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 



71 



wtitlier ttey intended to go by the first opportunity. The 
house of Dan was on Eoanoke Island, not far from the grea? 
Occum river, or Pamlico sound, and it was not uncommon 
for vessels to pass within hailing distance. It was uncertain, 
however, when one would pass that way, and preparations were 
making for an overland trip, when on the second day after 
their arrival on the island, Bladen and his sister were rejoiced 
to hear that a ship was in sight. Walter was now over and 
over again secretly counselled by his father with regard to his 
future conduct, loaded with messages and presents by Alice, 
for her little friend Utopia, and for her mother, and kindly 
admonished by Zip to keep a " bright look out, and be a 
man." He himself said but little, but his eye grew a shade 
darker and more melancholy, and his voice sounded with a 
deeper and softer pathos, as he parted from his father and his 
friends. Dan himself, locking his house, and leaving it in 
the care of his faithful servants, shook cordially by the hand 
every human being that he left behind him, taking a silent 
leave of Walter, while the tears glistened in his mild blue 
eyes. 



CHAPTEE XVI. 



SOCIETY Xm NEW EEENB IN THE OLDEN TIME. 



HE society of New Berne, gilded by the 
presence of the illustrious Susannah 
Carolina Matilda, shone with a lustre 
little inferior to that which blazed in 
the courts of royalty itself. Stars are 
the attendants of night; and thus, 
while the royal sun illumined with his 
unrivalled beams the precincts of St. 
James, his chastened rays were reflected in the fair and distant 
town on the Neuse, by a softer luminary, not dazzling 
enough to obscure or hide a host of lesser lights that gemmed 
the provincial firmament. 




7£ ADVENTTJEES OF 

The votaries of pleasure and ambition flocked in from all 
parts of the adjacent country; the minions of fashion vied 
with each other in splendid equipages and rich costumes, 
and a spirit of devoted and generous loyalty animated the 
highest and the lowest. The streets were thronged with a 
gay and glittering crowd, a contagious desire for extravagant 
display seized every rank, and wild revelry, feasting and re- 
joicing, were the order of the day and of the night. It was in the 
midst of these festivities that the English strangers arrived in. 
town, and found it so crowded that it was difficult to get accom- 
modations. For the present they deemed it proper to conceal 
their names and rank, and as neither Dan nor his friend 
Coon cut a very distinguished figure, the party were rudely 
received at every fashionable house, and compelled at last to 
put up at the inn of Mons. Dufrong, a dapper little French- 
man, above whose door George the Third and Henry Quatre 
were shaking hands over a mug of foaming ale. 

The house of Mons. Dufrong, the " Carolina inn," held a 
respectable position in the second rank, and was kept won- 
derfully clean and neat, though its dimensions were small, 
and though the same roof covered an inn and a grocery, both 
belonging to the same proprietor. The three men were all 
crowded into one small apartment, while the lady was in- 
stalled in a chamber that looked as if it had been prepared 
for some Lilliputian queen ; and it was, therefore, at once re- 
solved by the English couple that they would pay their 
respects at court on the next morning. They took a friendly 
leave of their late companions, Alice exhibiting even more 
than usual warmth and frankness in her manners towards 
them, while the conduct of Robert, without being haughty, 
was sufficiently reserved to show that he had now assumed 
his superiority of rank. 

" I tell you, friend Zip," said Dan, when they were gone, 
" there is something strange about them children, and I cant 
take my thoughts off them. Just think of it ; here they are, 
poor things, without experience, and without parents, and far 
away from home, and as innocent and as frisky as two lambs, 
while some one may be preparing to slaughter them ! What 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. 



T3 



did they run off for ? -why did they come here ? Why I 
should a' thought, that all the young gallants of old England 
would 'ave gone into mourning when that blessed little crea- 
ture came away ! " 

" There 's as good fish in the sea as ever came out of it," 
replied Zip ; " and, for my part, I never trouble myself to 
account for the antics of the women. But when you talk 
about purty gals, you forget old Virginny, the greatest place 
for sich things, it's given up, in all the world. Why, sir, 
I 've seen at least five hundred that are no more to compare 
to Miss Bladen, nor the queen is to the wife of a sand banker. 
Alice, indeed! — if you think her a beauty" 

" I say she is a beauty," interrupted Dan, with animation ; 
" I say she is a beauty ; a sweet, tender, dear little creature, 
whose like is not to be found in all Virginny, and never was, 
and never will be, till the day of doom. I 've been in Vir- 
giany, and I 've been in South Carolina and Georgia, and I'm 
an old man to boot — older and more experienced than you, 
Mr. Coon, and I 've never seen such a girl before, excepting 
only one." 

"And who was she ?" asked Zip. 

"Utopia," replied Dan; "you've heard me speak of 
her" 

"Are de Messieurs zhantlemen Coony and Tuckaire in?" 
asked Monsieur Dufrong, popping his powdered head in at 
the door. 

"In where. Monsieur Bullfrog?" asked old Zip. 

"Vat, you call me Bullfrog, saire ! hah, hah, goot — ^tres- 
bien. Monsieur Coony is verrai much amusan, verrai ! Bull- 
frog ! hah, hah !" 

" What do you want?" asked Dan. 

"Noting, saire; I vant noting — ^but de quel dites? de 
Governaire, he servant call for you. Messieurs." 

"Send him in here," replied Coon, and immediately a 

negro in livery entered, and announced that his excellency 

Josiah Martin, Governor, &c., would be pleased to see Mr. 

Tucker and Mr. Coon, at ten o'clock that morning, and to 

present them to the Queen's sister. 
10 



74 ABVENTURB? QV 

The heart of Zip throbbed at this ajinQunoenient, and he 
was fully satisfied that his own consequence had procured 
him the honour ; but Dan took a different view of the matter, 
and saw the hand of Alice Bladen in the whole proceeding. 
Proud he certainly was of such a distinction, but he was a 
modest man, and he felt a painful conscipusness of his want 
of polish. Mr. Coon was not a.t all abashed, believing that 
he could cut a figure anywhere, and both knew that a, request 
from, such a source was equal to a command, and aqeordingly 
commenced making preparations. Tucker had with him an 
old pair of velvet shorts and a laced vest which he had worn 
in his youth ; and these he donned, while his companion wore 
the dress in which he was introduced to the reader at Roanoke 
Island. Each had a servant with him, and these were busily 
engaged for at least one hour in giving a finishing touch to 
their maatejs' toilette. 



CHAPTEE XVII. 



SOCIETT IN NEW BEEinB * CONTINUED. — OLD DAN AND ZIP COON INITIATED 
INTO HIGH LIFE. — CHESTER EOWTON. — ^DR. EIBS AGAIN CEEATES A SENSATION. 

HEN the two fiddlers arrived at the 
palace, they found a sentinel in the 
yard, and were informed that only one 
of them could enter at a time. Zip took 
preeedenee, and the soldier marched 
him towards the entrance, calling out 
his name to the servant who stood at the 
door. Zip, at this, stopped and looked 
inquiringly at his couductor, who waved 
his hand, saying, " Go forward, sit-.'' " Mr. Zippy- Ooon ! '' 
exclaimed the servant at the door, as he led the former towards 

* What is said here of SoQiety in New Berne is strictly true; (ihere was none 
more elegant in the United States. Indeed the place was once a most delightfiil 
one, distinguished alike for its hospitality, its beauty as a town, and the moral 
excellence and intellectual eminence of its citizens. Here lived the Stanleys— 




OLD DAN TTJCKEK. 75 

tte audience hall. " You 're retj familiar ! " said old Zip ; 
"what do you Ivant? " "Walk on, if you please," replied 
the boy ; and Mr. Coon strode forward, scowling furidusly at 
the last servant, tv-ho ushered him into the presence of the 
Governor, and agaiii repeated his name. 

As Mr. Tucker ran this gauntlet of officials he felt more 
&.bashed than Zip, at the repetition of his name, biit he held 
his peace till, at last, unable to stand it any longer, he ctied 
out, " I'm not deaf, friend ; what '11 you have ? " When 
he entered, almost in a run, he found his friend quite at 
his ease, and felating to the Governor the impudent conduct 
of his servants; whom, he said, but for his respect for 
his excellency, he should have left with not an ear among 
them. Martin was too much a man of breeding to laugh at 
Zip's mistake, or to shame him by cortecting it ; and so, pro- 
mising to look into the conduct of his dependents, he pre- 
sented the fiddlers to his illustrious guest. She graciously 
permitted both to kiss her hand — a ceremony which Dan at 
least would have performed with considerable grace had he 
not caught the sparkling eye of Alice Bladen, from whose 
kindly-beaming face he cOuld not divert his looks. Indeedj 
the old man was so overwhelmed by the beauty and splendour 
that surrounded him, that the sight of a familiar face was a 
relief to him; and though he had before thought her ex- 
tremely fair, she now looked a thousand times more lovely 
than ever, seeming to him a vision of more than mortal sweet- 
ness. Fearful, however, lest he might violate some cardinal 
rule of etiquette, Dan renewed his acquaiatance only with 
his eyes, and, in fact, stood perfectly mute, until the lady 
Susannah, seeing his embarrassment, with admirable tact 
undertook to relieve him. 

" i am just infotmed, Mr. Tucker," said she to him, "that 



magnum et venerabik nomen — than the head of which family, the late John Stanley, 
there was not a more accomplished gentleman or able debater in the Union; here 
lived also the late Judge Gaston, a man universally venerated in North Carolina, 
for his abilities and bis matchless parity; and here lived the Shepards, the Bryants, 
the Washingtons, and other families old as the State and distinguished through- 



76 ADVENTURES OP 

you and your friend, Mr. Coon, are musicians, and have ac- 
quired considerable fame by your skill upon the violin," 

"We make some pretensions that way, may it please your 
gracious ladyship," answered Dan ; " but we do not deserve 
such a compliment as your ladyship has paid us." " I am, 
myself, a poor judge of such things," returned the lady 
Susannah; " but you have a friend here who speaks highly of 
you. By the way, I take it on myself to thank you for your 
kindness to Alice Bladen, and I will see that you are re- 
warded in a more substantial way." 

" May it please your gracious ladyship," said Dan, " I am 
already rewarded, and cannot think of receiving anything 
more. I would — if your ladyship will forgive me — I would 
only beg the favour of your ladyship that I and my friend 
might be permitted to hear the concert to-night." 

. " Certainly you shall be permitted," replied the lady 
Susannah ; " and I will see that seats are prepared expressly 
for your accommodation." 

" Chester Eowton ! " cried the servant at the door, and the 
buzz of conversation instantly ceased, while all eyes were bent 
on the elegant stranger. Dan had looked with amazement 
and delight on the fine and stately forms that moved 
through the hall and his heart had swelled with pride as he 
thought of the impression the gentlemen of Carolina must 
make on his friend, old Zip ; but even he, prejudiced as he was 
in favour of his native province, instantly awarded in his mind 
the prize of superiority to him whose name was last announced. 
His broad forehead and his eagle eye commanded the respect 
of the men ; while his brilliant dress, his glossy curls, and his 
graceful manners, at once fascinated nearly every female be- 
holder. The delight and wonder excited by his presence had 
not subsided, when another sensation was produced by the 
announcement of " Doctor M'Donald de Riboso ! " Alice, 
who had suddenly become serious when Rowton was an- 
nounced, now astonished everybody by a burst of laughter, 
as she beheld the phenomenon at the door. There he was, 
her quondam beau, the veritable Dr. Ribs, his shoulders 
covered with flaming red locks, his hugely-jointed legs tightly 



OLD DAN TtrCKEK. 77 

bound in light-coloured shorts and silk hose, and an enor- 
mous rapier hanging by his side, and threatening at every 
step to trip him up. Pausing at the entrance of the hall, to 
fix the attention of every eye, he bowed lowly and smilingly 
towards each point of the compass, and then, advancing, knelt 
at the feet of the half-frightened lady Susannah, and, taking 
with both his hands the tips of her fingers, he kissed them 
with a loud smack, and then arose and stood before her. At 
this instant Alice, who was standing behind the object of the 
doctor's attentions, again exploded with a merry laugh ; and 
the lady Susannah, as she looked up at the startling object 
before her, felt that she would give half her jewels to indulge 
in a cachinnation like that which was ringing near her. As 
she looked up with her mouth pursed, and her whole face show- 
ing the tortures of the laughing distemper which had seized 
her, the doctor again tried to overwhelm her with a look and 
a smile. Alice again gave violent vent to her feUngs, and 
the lady Susannah gracefully but precipitately left the room, 
touching Alice as she went, and being followed by her. 



CHAPTEE XVIII. 

A CONYEBSATION DT THE PALACE. 

KAY tell me, girl, what sort of gentlemen 
have they in Carolina?" asked the lady 
Susannah when she was alone with Alice. 
" A rare species, judging by the speci- 
mens I have seen," answered Alice ; " I 
have seen wonders enough to fill a book." 
" All of which you must relate to me, 
my dear," returned her ladyship ; " but 

first tell me who is this Mr. Rowton and his friend Dr. Ribs? 

"What an odd pair they are — Hyperion and Satyr ! Did yoa 

ever see either of them before ?" 




78 AbVENTURES OP 

" I 've seen tliem in Utopia," f eplied Alice. 

"Utopia? where is that? This is certainly a wonderful 
country abounding in still more wonderful people." 

" Utopia is a name given by some philosophic wag to that 
part of the beach where we were wrecked," said Alice. 

"And is that where you saw Mr. Rowton?" inquired the 
lady Susannah. 

" Yes ; I saw him there, and have seen him in England." 

Her ladyship looked hard at Alice, as she continued, " Did 
he not come with you to this country ? 

" He was in the same ship," answered Aliee. 

" I thought it must be he," cried the Lady Susannah. I 
thought it was he, the moment I saw him. You must know, 
my dear, that report has preceded you here, and it is said 
you have behaVed in a very naughty manner towards a kind 
old uncle and a handsome gaUatit. I defended you at first, 
but I think I shall have to turn against you, for I wonder 
how you could find it in your heart to refuse such an 
ofi'er." 

" I do not love him," said Alice Bladen. 

"What a pity!" exclaimed her ladyship j "come, you 
must think better of this matter ; but I must tell you what 
we have heardi" And, hereupon, her ladyship related what 
had passed between her and the Governor, and the Governor 
lady, in regard to her ; and Alice, who feeling bound to un- 
bosom herself to such an illustrious lady, became confidential 
and briefly told the history of her life. 

" I am a woman," said the lady Susannali, at last, " and I 
know how to judge a woman's heart ; but stiU. I wish you 
could love this gentleman, for he is a very proper gallant. 
You say you have a distant relation residing at Cape Fear ?" 

" We claim kindred," answered Alice, " but the degree is 
very far removed." 

" In which case," said Lady Susannah, " you, while in dis- 
tress, should not be the first to recognize the relationship. 
Believe me, this is good advice, but yoti shall run no risk, for 
I am going to Cape Fear myself, and you shall be one of my 
suite." 



OLD DAN TTTCKER. 79 

" I humbly thank your ladyship." 

" Nay, Alice," returned the the lady Susannah ; " is there 
anything to thank me for ? In truth, my royal sister would 
hardly be ashamed of seeing such a gem among her jewels ; 
but, tell me, my dear, think you the gallant Kowton will fol- 
low you ? " 

" It is not possible for me to say what are bis designs," 
answered Alice. 

" You must not be too harsh upon him," said lady Susan- 
nah; "the Governor is half disposed to send you back to En- 
gland, and perhaps, while under his supervision, it would be 
well to appear to encourage Eowton. It might be dangerous 
to leave him behind. Do you understand me?" 

"I do not think that I do," answered Alice j "it is 
impossible for me to disguise my sentiments, nor would I 
attempt" — -» 

" Leave it all to me — let me manage it," replied her lady- 
ship. " As soon as your gallant sees that I am intimate with 
you, he wiU approach me in regard to you, and yqu may be 
sure I'll manage all things for the best. Now tell me some- 
thing of Dr. Riboso, or Bibose — who is he, what is he, and 
where did he come from ? " 

" He is a Utopian," said Alice ; " a poor vain fool, whose 
real name is Eibs, who has had the effrontery to make love 
to me." 

" Gracious heaven ! " exclaimed her ladyship. 

" Yqu need not be so astonished," continued Alice, "for if 
you wiU permit me to tell you so, he has f^len desperately 
in love with your ladyship.'' 

" Treason, treason !" cried the lady Susannah : " how can 
you say such a thing ?^— the monster ! " 

'^ He is certainly in love with you," said Alice, *' and he'll 
tell you so. He is one of those vain, silly creatures, who 
imagine that all the ladies love them, when in fact, we make 
iree with them heca,use we do not respect them. What 
amusement we might have if your ladyship would take the 
right course." 

" Hush, child, I see it all, but, mark me ! when a lady who 



80 ADVENTUKES OP 

is sister to the Queen condescends to such trifling, a discreet 
silence is becoming in her confidants." 

" I understand you," said Alice, " and your ladyship may 
trust me implicitly." 




CHAPTEE XIX. 

WALTER AKEITES IN NEW BEKNB AID EXCITES MUCH SUKPRISE PROM HIS 
APPEARANCK AND MANNERS. — MEETS WITH HIS FATHER OLD DAN AND ZIP 
COON. — WALTER RELATES THE CAUSE 0» HIS VISIT TO BERNE. — HIS AUDI- 
ENCE WITH THE GOVERNOR. 

Tr/^. s Pocosin Dan and his friend Coon re- 
'^ turned from their visit to the Palace, 
they were not a little surprised by an 
apparition that met them in the street. 
ITiis was the little Pocosin, who carried 
, a small bundle under his arm, a gun, a 
bow and arrows, his clothes stained 
with mud from his head to his feet. 
His appearance had excited quite a sensation in the town, 
and when he was met by his father, a troop of boys and 
negroes were following at his heels, and the windows along 
the street were filled with faces. The father, now moving in 
fashionable society in a fashionable place, was mortified at the 
plight of his son, who had become a spectacle ; but the feel- 
ings of nature quickly trixunphed over those of pride, and 
the old man shed tears of joy as he embraced the lad with 
aflfectionate fervour. He himself, and his companion Zip, 
were also objects of curiosity in the streets of New Berne; 
and thus the crowd which had followed Walter received 
constant accessions, until it swelled into a disorderly mob, 
upon whom Zip, ever and anon, cast a look of defiance, and 
sometimes bestowed a blessing in language more energetic 
than polite. Tucker held his peace, and mended his pace as 
the crowd pressed around him, laughing and hooting ; and 
Walter, his lips compressed, and his dark eyes gleaming with 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. 



81 



■a deep and dangerous meaning, kept his right hand pressed 
upon the hilt of a dagger, which he carried in his bosom. In 
this way the three friends moved on until they reached the 
hotel, where they were politely received by Monsieur Du- 
frong, who, resenting the indignity which had been offered to 
his guests, harangued their disorderly followers in language 
that excited the most boisterous merriment. Old Dan now 
learned the cause of his son's sudden appearance, and heard, 
with no little interest, an account of recent occurrences at 
Utopia. 

" After the Bladens left me," said Walter, " my employer 
began to treat his wife in the most cruel manner, and it was 
during their quarrels that I foimd out what a scoundrel he 
was. I found out that he was a most dishonest man; that he 
would steal and cheat whenever he got a chance, and that he 
was in the habit of holding out lights to deceive sailors and cause 
wrecks. He kept a horse for this very purpose, and no doubt 
in the world he was the cause of the loss of the ship which was 
wrecked on the night of the ball. All this his wife had heard 
from Ike Harvey, her other husbamd, and all this she told me, 
and warned me to leave as soon as I could. While I was think- 
ing about how I might get off, there was another alarm about 
Wild Bill ; and that night Utopia, the little daughter of Mrs. 
Ricketts, disappeared. During all the next day, there was 
a continual alai-m about BiU ; and on the night foUowing, and 
while Mrs. Ricketts was absent on a visit, a company of rob- 
bers broke into the house, took old Ricketts out of his bed 
and murdered him, and then carried off aU the valuables they 
could find. I slept in the store, which was broken open after 
the murder was committed, and I was tied and gagged, and 
left in that condition. I remained bound in that way until 
late in the morning, when some men who came over to trade 
released me. We found the body of old Eicketts lying 
in the yard, barbarously mangled, but we could get no 
clue to the murderers, for I did not know any one of 
those whom I saw. They were aU black and had on singular 
dresses, and no man spoke a single word during the whole 
performance. 
11 



82 ADVENTURES OF 

• " It was known that the old man and his wife often quarrelled ; 
she had several times been heard to throw out hints that 
Bill would some day give him his deserts ; and on the very 
pight of the murder she told the neighbour with whord she 
was staying, that she had come there to get out of the way. 
She was very merry that night, got nearly drunk, and often 
said that she felt sure something good for her was going 
to happen. Eowton, who took an active part in the matter, 
gathered up all these facts ; and he is firmly of opinion that 
the old woman and "Wild Bill had coUeagued together. He 
thinks that the girl was sent oif on the first night on purpose, 
and that the old woman expected to make her escape in a few 
days. He therefore had her arrested, and a large number 
of the bankers (for they are very much excited), axe bring- 
ing her to this place. They say that they intend to bring her 
to the governor at once, and to have a reward ofiered for Bill, 
as well as vindicate their own neighbourhood from the charge 
of bloodshed. The old woman herself is anxious to be 
brought here, for she wants to see Miss Alice Bladen, but no 
one can imagine what is her object. 

" I left immediately ; and after going by home, have walked 
through swamps nearly all the way in hopes that I might 
come upon the den of Bill." 

"And what would you have done with him, my lad?" 
asked Coon. 

" I would have killed him, and brought Utopia away," 
answered Walter. The only reply Zip saw fit to make to this, 
was an explosion of laughter, so loud, so hearty, and so long 
continued and provoking, that Walter exhibited symptoms of 
the extreme mortification which it caused him. " Don't get 
angry, my boy," said Zip wiping his eyes; " don't get angry, 
but the fact is," — and here he again gave furious vent to his 
risible inclinations. He finished at last, and extending his 
hand to Walter, bade him cherish his brave spirit, but not 
to be too sanguine of being a second Hercules, who, accord- 
ing to Zip, knocked a bull down with his fist, and choked 
laundry lions and tigers till their tongues came out. Walter 
took the apology in good part, and then went with his father 



oi-U DAN XXJCKEE. 83 

to see the Governor, who, as Dan suggested, might be 
anxioas to talk with him. 

His excellency had, in fact, just given audience to Eowton 
and his follower Riboso or Eibs, and, to gratify Alice Bladen 
as well as himself, was on the eve of sending for the little 
Pocosin. Walter had dressed himself in the finest apparel 
which he had with him. but still, when he entered the Palace, 
and beheld its splendid furniture, he felt painfully conscious 
of his own rusticity, and wished himself again in the woods. 
He expected to see a race of men corresponding with the 
house, and he felt an awe as if he were advancing towards the 
presence of some superior being. After aU, however, in those 
like Walter Tucker, it is only the reflection of the soul that caii 
awe and subdue j and hence, when the young man saw before 
him a face stamped only with common passions and common 
attributes, his fears entirely vanished. He expected, there- 
fore, to be unconcerned when Alice advanced, but the mo- 
ment he caught her eye, his own fell, his frame trembled, and 
his courage forsook him. He had seen her often before j he 
had talked to her, and been with her often at Utopia, and yet 
he did not then feel any embarrassment. Perhaps, since then, 
his thoughts had dwelt on her, and now she occupied a diffe- 
rent position in his mind ; perhaps it was her dress and the 
place; but whatever was the cause, his voice faltered and his 
manner became constrained and awkward. She, too, had 
altered in her manners, for, as he quickly saw, she had nearly 
forgotten him, and met him with reserve and hauteur that 
surprised and ofiended him. Her conduct increased his con- 
fusion, till, as he thought, he detected a covert sneer at some 
awkward expression, and his swelling heart at once threw off 
its tremor, his eyes flashed, and from his lips fell words that 
astonished every one who heard him. His story excited the 
deepest interest in the Governor, and Walter observing this, 
eagerly asked what reward he might expect, were he to bring 
Wild Bill, dead or alive, to town. 

" I am afraid the council will not allow me to pay any 
thing," said his Excellency ; " for the treasury is low and the 
people discontented. However, if you will — " 



84 



ADVENTURES OF 



" May it please your Highness," interposed Walter, " you 
do not understand me. I did not allude to any reward of 
money, but, I thQught— I thought—" 

" You thought what? " asked his excellency, smiling. 

"I thought, if your Excellency would recommend me, or 
get the lady Susannah to recommend me, to some place in the 
army, I'd try." 

" Come, my son," said his father j " never ask for your re- 
ward tUl you 've won it, I'm afraid. Sir, we 've tired your 
Excelle&cy, and if you 'U excuse us, we '11 now take our 
leave." 

" You may be assured, young man,'' said Martin, " that 
if you do what you have impliedly promised, the path of pro» 
motion will be open to you : but mind, do not risk too much. 
This Wild Bill is a cunning as well as a valiant rascal, and I 
have heard many astonishing things of him." 

"Suppose I get you knighted," said the lady Susannah, 
" what name would you take ? Sir Walter Tucker sounds 
rather plebeian, I think." 

Alice laughed — it was an innocent laugh, and perhaps ex- 
cited by some odd fancy of her own, but it stung Walter, and 
he answered, " I 'U take my father's name, and perhaps some 
day it will not be one to be laughed at." The laugh of Alice 
became more violent, and Walter left in confusion. 



OLD DAN TUCKIiR. 85 




CHAPTEE XX. 

THE GBAND CONOBKT. — AUT AW) lfATUKE.^-DABr TUCKER AND ZIP GIVB 
OFFENCE AT THE CONCEKT AND ABE OBDEKED TO WITHDEAW. 

HE concert given in honour of the lady 
Susannah Carolina Matilda excited, 
before it came off, a great deal of inte- 
rest and no little gossip. The musicians 
were all foreigners, and employed at 
considerable expense : an amateur com- 
pany of actors was to rehearse a play, 
and much management and ingenuity 
had been exerted to procure the honour of a bid. All the 
ilite of the town, and strangers and visitors of distinction 
were invited, and the great hall of the palace was filled with 
seats expressly for the occasion ; a tier of elevated benches in 
the back part being designed for those of the humbler classes 
who might be admitted. Walter Pocosin had received this 
distinction with less pleasure than that which it had caused 
to his father and old Zip, and he was stillless inclined to 
prize the honour when he entered the haU and felt his social 
degradation. He had never before associated with any but 
equals and inferiors, and he became restive, and could hardly 
realize his situationj as he beheld a gulf fixed between himself 
and the brilliant array of ladies and gentlemen who sat below 
him. He became moody and taciturn, and his spirit chafing 
within him, longed for the wilds of his native forests, while, 
as he occasionally fixed his eyes on the bright face of Alice 
BladeUj his breast heaved with emotion it would be difficult 
to describe. He saw Kowton — he despised that man — and 
others crowding round her, and chatting and laughing with 
her, and when he remembered that he could not and. dared 
not approach her, the world and society appeared to him in a 
new light, and deep and troubled thoughts and strange. 



86 ADVENTURES OP 

resolves floated through his mind. The play which was 
prepared for the occasion consisted of three acts, in each of 
which the humbly-born hero performed some deed of honour- 
able renown, and at last, and greatly to the satisfaction of all, 
received his promised guerdon, a wife of high degree. The 
applause was hearty, but tempered, for the audience was 
polished and fastidious; but there was one whose feelings 
overcame him, and who, forgetful of the awful presence in 
which he was, gave a shout that startled every one from his 
seat. -The truth is, old Zip had become absorbingly inter- 
ested ; his sympathies had grown warmer and warmer as the 
play advanced, and when the crusty old father of the beautiful 
and tender heroine gave her away with a free good will, the 
big boots of the Virginian made the benches rattle, as he cried 
out, " All right now ! Give us your hand, old skin-flint ! " 
The house was astounded at this outburst ; and Dan, covered 
with confusion, blushed and hung his head, while his compa- 
nion seemed entirely unconscious of having committed any 
impropriety. In fact, his air and manner indicated that he 
felt himself at home, while his whole conduct was in every 
respect diametrically opposite to that of Dan, who looked and 
acted like one under bonds for his good behaviour, or that 
felt himself under obligations to pay a marked and deferential 
attention to every part and tittle of the performance. He 
was afraid even to whisper, or to permit any one to whisper 
to him : he smiled when the Governor smiled, and he kept 
his eyes constantly fixed upon the stage. He sat bolt upright, 
and as prim as a preux chevalier ; but even Ms powers of 
endurance, as well as those of Zip, were greatly tried when 
the musical part of the entertainment began. 

Neither of the fiddlers had what is called a cultivated ear ; 
neither of them had been accustomed to any kind of musical com- 
position but simple and melodious harmony, and, consequently, 
the orchestra had performed several preludes while Dan and his 
friend were still impatiently waiting for the grand symphony 
to begin, and were still labouring under the supposition that 
the musicians were tuning their instruments. A burst of 
applause awakened them from their delusion^ and then it 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. 8T 

was, as the band attempted more laborious and complicated 
pieces, that the nerves of the old fiddlers began to vibrate as 
intensely as the strings which discoursed to them such rude, 
shrill, discordant sounds. Every one who has been to an 
opera, will remember with what sensations he first beheld 
the antics and motions of the head fiddler, and what an im- 
portant functionary he seemed to be. There he sat, his bald 
head glistening in front of the audience, his eyes fixed im- 
movably on his music, and his right arm waving law to those 
around him, as if the whole solar system were regulated by 
its motions, and the sounding of a single semi-quaver out of 
tune would topple the universe into ruins. There he sat, 
forgetting the world, its cares, and its sorrows, forgetting life, 
and death, and man, and the objects of man's ambition, every 
thought of his soul fixed upon the dotted lines before him, his 
heart in his bow, his whole being but an abstiraction of majors 
and minors, flats and sharps — politicians might rise and fall, 
battles be fought and won, empires lost and gained, and 
nations swept away ; but what were these to Signor Squeakelli ? 
— and what were heroes, statesmen, poets, and novelists, but 
unweighed trifles, paltry things, unworthy of a thought? 
There he sat, a sublime ideal, breathing himself away in 
minims, with the swing of his despotic bow determining the 
length and breadth of quavers and crotchets, the sovereign 
arbiter of a universe of sounds, /br^e, mezzo, and piano/ the 
grand dispenser of tones, and semi-tones, chords and tetra- 
chords. Such was the worthy who directed the band at the 
grand concert played before the lady Susannah j and like a 
thousand jagged instruments did the sounds which he 
awaked pierce the rustic islander and his friend. It seemed 
to them that the performers were evoking from their instru- 
ments the cries of a legend of tormented spirits, and the 
unfortunate Dan, struggling with his natural feelings, and his 
sense of politeness, sat like one who rested upon sharp points, 
his head screwed down upon his shoulders, his eyes bent 
wistfully upon the corner of the ceiling, and the muscles of 
his face ridged and twisted with spasmodic twitches. Mr. 
Coon, however, was not so fearful of giving offence, and hi& 



88 ADVENTURES OF 

indignation was plainly visible in the cloud wHich gathered 
and darkened on his brow. He seemed to be especially in- 
flamed at the leader of the orchestra, upon whom he gazed 
with a fixed and stern frown, untU, transported by one of the 
worthy's extra flourishes, "Oh, hush!" burst like a deep 
growl from his lips, and he turned impatiently in his seat. 

The Governor's politeness had now been put to the flnal 
test, and a servant soon appeared and informed Mr. Coon and 
his friends, that their absence would be more agreeable than 
their presence. It was a cutting rebuke, and they aU felt 
it, but even Zip could see that it was no time or place to 
show resentment, and he quietly withdrew. 

" Mr. Tucker, I hope you 're not oiFended at me, are you ? " 
asked Zip, after they had walked some time in silence. 

" I was a little angry at first," answered Dan, " but it 's all 
gone now. It 's true you behaved rather badly, but the 
Governor was too severe." 

" Entirely too severe," said Zip, " and I '11 take occasion to 
let him know my opinion of him, too, before all 's over. We 
Virginians are not in the habit of permitting people to treat 
us as inferiors." 

"We Virginians! Confound you, man," exclaimed Dan, 
" this Virginia arrogance of yours has got us all into this 
trouble. I wish I may never hear the words again ! " 

" I think Mr. Coon is right about one thing," said Walter, 
" and I admire aU the Virginians for this ; they think their 
own State and their own people as good as any in the world, 
and when they go abroad, they do not go sneaking about, 
but hold up their heads, and challenge respect from every- 
body." 

" That 's a smart lad of yours," put in Zip ; " Walter, my 
boy, you must have some of the Virginia blood in you." 

" I am a Carolinian," said Walter, emphasising the last 
word, " and I am as proud of my birth-place as you are of 
yours." 

" That 's all very right, my lad," replied Zip ; " but then 
you have not so many great things to be proud of. For 
instance, where have you such a river as James'?" 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 89 

" You forget our Eoanoke," said Dan. 

"Eoauoke?" exclaimed Zip. 

" AySj Roanoke," cried Walter ; " I love that name," con- 
tinued he with animation, " and it shall be immortal when 
James' river is forgotten ! " 

Conversing in this way the friends arrived at their hotel, 
where, in the more homely, but sweeter melody of their own 
violins, they soon forgot that to them piercing jargon which 
had grated so harshly on their ears, and caused their disgrace. 
Mons. Dufrong soon afterwards came into their room, and 
manifested the most extravagant delight at their music, and 
declared that he felt himself a boy again. He conceived a 
great reverence for his guests, and Zip, now in his proper 
sphere, with admirers around him, was fully himself again : 
so, too, was Tucker ; but the latter's son was thoughtful and 
sad. The music set him to castle building, and before it 
ceased he had fought many famous battles and won for him- 
. self a bright name among men. 



CHA.PTEE XXI. 



DEVKLOPMENT OF CHARACTER. — COURT ETIQUETTE. — A FEW WORDS BETWEEN 
R0BE3T BLADEN AND WALTER ON TRUE NOBIHTT. — WALTER LEAVES THE 
COURT IN DISGUST. 



ATHER," said Walter Tucker, on the morn- 
ing after the concert; "I shall start 
home to-day." 

" You shall start, my son ? Why do 
you not ask if you may start ? " 

" Because my mind is made up," re ■ 
plied the lad. 

'■■ Made up without consulting me ? Walter, Walter," 
continued the old man, " this is strange talk and very unlike 

you, as you used to be. My son, wherein have I done any- 
12 




90 ADVENTURES OF 

thing to forfeit that respect which you owe me, and which 
you have always paid me until now?" 

" You have not forfeited my respect," answered "Walter ; 
''norwilll ever cease to respect, reverence and love you. 
But it is not inconsistent with my duty to you to start home 
immediately, and as no one is interested in that matter but 
myself, I supposed you would not object." 

"I might not have done so," answered Dan; "but it 
would have been proper to ask." 

" "Well, father, will you let me go ? " 

" "Why can 't you stay and go with me, my son ? It is 
dangerous to go alone, and besides, as we are going by sea as 
soon as the vessel is loaded, you might profit by a trip on 
the water." 

" I prefer the other way," said Walter : " I do hope you 
will let me go. I cannot stay another day in this town, for I 
am miserable here." 

" ] am sorry for that," returned Dan ; " for I had some . 
thought of getting you into business here." 

The boy strode across the floor as he answered : " I have 
cut the clerk, father. I intend to be a gentleman ; and never 
shall I see this hateful town again until I am the equal of the 
highest man in it." 

" You are equal to any of them now," said Dan ; " but they 
don't think so, and that makes the odds. "Well, my son, 
here is some money ; go as soon as you can get ready, and 
may God go with you." 

" And may he bless you for ever ! " exclaimed "Walter. 
" My mind is made up on a certain course, but the chief end 
of all my aims is your honour as well as my own. I am going 
to make a call at the palace, and then I will leave." 

" A call at the palace ! " cried the old man ; " why you 
forget, son, that we were driven from there last night in 
disgrace." 

" I shall call, notwithstanding," said "Walter ; " you know 
what interest Miss Bladen takes in the daughter of Mrs. 
Bicketts, and how she shed tears yesterday, when she heard 
what had happened to the girl." 



OLD DAN TUCKEE. 91 

" I know all that," answered the father ; " but what has 
this to do with your visit to the Governor ?" 

" I am going to see Miss Bladen," answered Walter. 

" Take care she don't set the Governor's hounds after you," 
said old Dan, laughing 

" I shall take care that no one insults me with impunity," 
replied Walter j and, taking an affectionate leave of his 
father, he went to pay his visit. He was informed by 
the servant at the door that his Excellency was not in, and 
that Miss Bladen was indisposed. Verily, it seemed to 
Walter that a sudden epidemic must have attacked the 
inmates of the palace, for nearly every one was on the sick 
list, and unable to leave his or her private chamber. Robert 
Bladen was also indisposed, quite unwell, said the servant, 
who was not in the least abashed, as that young man, the 
next moment, made his appearance. There was less hauteur 
in his manner than he had exhibited on the day before, and 
he inquired kindly the object of Walter's visit. The latter, 
softened and confused hy the kindness of the Englishman, was 
hardly able to tell what he wanted, and answered that he was 
about to leave town : he wislied to know if Mr. Bladen, had 
any suggestions to make^ or directions to give, for the rescue 
of Utopia. 

" I '11 go and consult my sister," answered Bladen ; and 
after being absent for a few minutes he returned, saying, 
"that his sister was sorry she could not come out. She 
agrees with me, however," continued Bladen, ^ that imme- 
diate and untiring search should be made, and I need not 
tell you that our purses wiU be at your command, if you 
bring her in safety to us." 

" I need not tell you that I am not a menial," returned 
Walter, proudly. 

Bladen looked inquiringly at him for a minute, and said, 
*' How do you mean, Walter ? — did I offend you by an offer 
of money ?" 

"No, sir," answered Walter; "but— but, I do not like 
folks to talk to me as if money was the only thing that could 
induce me to do a good action," 



92 ADVENTUEES OF 

" Then you seek honour, perhaps ?" said Bladen. 

" I wish to be understood as being governed by those prin- 
ciples which govern gentlemen," returned Walter. 

" No doubt your heart is as good as any man's," replied 
Bladen ; " but you must remember that it would not be dis- 
creditable to any one in your station to do things which 
would disgrace one in mine. Each rank is expected to be 
governed by certain rules which are peculiar to it." 

" I don't know what the rules about rank are," said Wal- 
ter, " but I know this : I know that honour, honesty, and a 
love of fame, are not inherited by any one class." 

" Of course they are not," answered Bladen ; " but they 
are applied differently in different classes, and have different 
rewards. But if you want to become the founder of a great 
family, I would advise you to persevere in some useful call- 
ing, and may be you will be knighted after awhile, especially 
if you can get the influence of the lady Susannah." 

" I don't want anybody's influence," retorted Walter ; 
" ain't it sufficient to do great deeds, and let these enno- 
ble you?" 

" How can you be ennobled except by the king ? " asked 
Bladen ; " nobody but his majesty can confer any order of 
nobility in these realms — and, therefore, I advise you to cul- 
tivate the good graces of her ladyship, the excellent Susan- 
nah Carolina Matilda." 

" She may be, and no doubt she is, as good as she 's beau- 
tiful," returned Walter j " but the road to honour does not 
lie through her good graces, or those of anybody else. It 
runs through dangers and difficulties, and none but the 
virtuous and good can follow it ; and when they do follow it, 
their own deeds, and not the king's parchment ones, will 
proclaim their nobility." 

Bladen, surprised at this reply, was looking silently and 
curiously at the author of it, when Bowton and his foil, Dr, 
Ribs, came in. They had scarcely been seated a minute when 
Walter heard the rustle of female dresses, and, with a choking 
sensation, left the apartment just as Alice Bladen and the 
lady Susannah glided in. As he went, he cast back a 



OtU DAN TUCKER. 93 

furtive glance, to assure himself that he was not mistaken, 
and immediately the evidence of his eyes was confirmed by 
that of his ears, in which rung the merry and unmistakeable 
laugh of Alice. Though clear, and sweet, and innocent, 
however, it sounded to Walter like the mock of a demon, 
and burned upon his brain like a wild delirium. 

When Alice returned to her chamber she found in it an 
arrow, round the head of which was a paper, on which was 
written the following words : — 

" To Miss Alice Bladen. 

" Did I not serve you truly ? You laugh at 
me because I have a humble name, and wear a humble 
dress. It 's very true that my manners are awkward, but 
my heart is the heart of a gentleman, while his whom you 
love so well is as black as the waters of the Dismal Swamp. 

" Farewell. When you see me again, you will not laugh 
at the humble name of 

"Waltbb Tuckek." 

The arrow which carried this paper missile was a curious 
one, and evidently had been made by an Indian, yeais 
before. Its head was shaped like a heart, and painted red ; 
near this was a small and perfectly carved dove, with a dead 
viper in its mouth : at the other end was an eagle, and along 
the side were emblematic representations of victories and 
achievements. Doubtless, thought Alice, this has been the 
love messenger of some Indian warrior chief; and therefore, 
as a curious relic, she carefully put it among her valuables. 
Whether she deemed the note equally curious is not certain; 
but, judging by her conduct, it was hard to understand ; for. 
after laying it aside, she again opened it and read it, and would 
even often leave company to go and examine it, and then 
replace it in its sacred place of deposit. 



04 



ADVENTURKS 0I<' 



CHAPTER XXIL 




THE SCENE SHIFTS — A FEW WORDS ON THE CERTAINTY Olf UNOEfiTAINTY 

UTOPIA'S ALARM. AT TUB APPEAKAKCB OV HEAITT, AMD HER COMMUNI- 
CATION. 

HE only thing certain in regard to the 
course of things in this world is its 
absolute uncertainty. Kemarkable and 
^ pleasant reunions sonietimes happen ; 
but there is nothing more sure than that 
all associations must be dissolved, and that 
the streams of our lives must constantly 
' diverge from those of the friends whom 
we cherish most. Excepting man and 
wife, it is rarely the case that any two individuals live to- 
gether, or near each other, from youth to age ; and hence, 
whenever we read of a number of characters grouped together^ 
and kept together for any length of time, we may be certain 
that it is fiction only which we read ; and fiction, too, for 
whose counterpart we shall look in vain among the chiequered 
scenes of real life. However mournful it may be in some 
respects, it is nevertheless true, that dissolution and separa- 
tion are the fixed laws of every society ; and hence, even at 
this early stage of our history, the characters of whom it 
treats begin to scatter. 

The counties of Tyrrell* and Hyde, in North Carolina, 

* There is a beautiful little lake in Tyrrell county, called Lake Phelps ; and 
the traveller can now be shown places which will, exactly correspond with those 
mentioned in the text. He will at these places see a country and a people 
different from any he has ever seen before, unless he has been in the swamps of 
North Carolina. He will find in these swamps a peculiar race — white men and 
i-unaway slaves— who live by making shingles from the cypress and juniper, and 
whose houses are built on sleepers laid on the stumps of trees. These shingle- 
betters carry their boards to the nearest store or grocery, and exchange them for 



Ol-n DAN TUCKKK. 95 

were, at one time, almost entirely overspread by one con- 
tinuous and dreary swamp, whose miry bed was covered 
with a tangled mat of reeds, bamboos, briers and brushwood, 
and over which frowned a dark forest of gum, cypress, and 
j uniper. The shade of the immense trees that stood in serried 
ranks, the dark green foliage of the impenetrable under- 
growth, and the black waters that covered the oozy soil from 
which sprang such rank vegetation, were blended into one 
picture of gloom, and the howl of the wolf and scream of the 
panther enhanced the horrors of the dismal scene. From near 
the centre of this swamp to Albemarle Sound extended a 
broad, still sheet of water, now called Alligator river ; and 
from this estuary, and at right angles with it on the east, 
stretches a small bayou,, nearly in the form of an L, with the 
top next to the river. In the angle formed by the bend of 
this branch of Alligator river was a house, in which the girl 
Utopia found herself on the morning after she had been 
spirited away from the beach. Not far from the house stood 
another small tenement : there was a boat in the creek close by, 
but no sound was to be heard, nor was any living thing to be 
seen. The girl was in a room by herself; the door was fas- 
tened on the outside, and she began to think herself lost, for 
the morning was now far advanced. She remembered well 
all that had happened on the night before — she remembered 
that she had been kindly spoken to, and assured that no 
injury should befal her ; but when the long-expected light 
at last broke into her chamber, no human face presented 
itself, and the day wore on apace while yet no human voice 
was heard. At length the door opened, and the old negress 
of Captain Ricketts came noiselessly in, and seeming to the 
girl more hideous than she had ever looked before. Her 
frame, which had always been small, was now shrivelled to a 
mummy, and stooped with age ; her coal-black skin was like 

meal, flour, meat, clothing, and whiskey ; and it is said that in former times men 
have made fortunes from the labour of fugitive slaves whom they would not 
question. These swamps, too, have been the scene of many wild deeds, crimes, and 
romances ; and a volume might be filled with legends which could be gathered 
by a short sojourn in their vicinity. 



&6 



ADVENTURES OF 



a scroll of parchment, gathered in folds upon her sunken 
cheeks, and drawn tightly over her long, sharp and fleshless 
chin ; a thick tuft of hair grew low down upon her narrow 
forehead, and the whites only of her deeply-set and bleared 
eyes seemed to be visible. 

After the scenes of the night before, could Utopia be other- 
wise than alarmed in the presence of such a creature in such 
a place ? She was not a bold nor a fearless girl, but she had 
a disposition which inclined her to be contented in any posi- 
tion; she tried always to think herself happy, and to think 
that those about her were innocent and happy like herself. 
She trembled when old Heatty first came into her room, but 
she soon threw oif her dread, looked smilingly at the slave, 
and spoke freely and kindly to her. The more she smiled, 
however, and the more kindly she spoke, the more surly 
'ould the negress grow; still Utopia talked affectionately 
to her, and in the most respectful manner endeavoured to 
find out where she was, and the cause of her imprisonment. 
After breakfast, Heatty went to sleep, first desiring the 
girl not to wake her, and thus Utopia was left alone, in a 
most gloomy place. The door of the room being now un- 
fastened, she busied herself in looking about the premises, 
gathered great quantities of wild flowers, and on her return 
decked off her room in the most tasteful manner. After 
dinner her spirits began to fail her; she thought of her 
mother, and so she betook herself to her couch, and there 
wept for hours. At last she rememberd that God was her 
friend, and kneeling, thanked him for all his kindness, and for 
having given her another friend. At night till a late hour 
she did her best to amuse her keeper, the sleepy negress ; told 
her long stories, and anecdotes, out of number, but never 
excited a smile or a kindly answer. She was for sitting up 
all night, but old Heatty hurried her off, at what seemed 
to her an exceedingly early hour, bidding her sleep while 
she might, for that she would be married soon. The 
aged negress at this grinned a ghastly smile, and without 
giving her any explanation, hobbled off, leaving Utopia to 
loneliness and darkness. It seemed to the child, the night 




UTOPIA AND OLD HEATTY. 



OLD DAS TtlCKEK. 



97 



would never end ; but it did at last, and with the morning' 
came a joyous disposition and lively spirits. On the next day, 
Heatty became more communicative, assuring her little pri- 
soner that she -would soon be very happy, and have a com- 
panion to stay with her, who would love her, and make a 
lady of her. The girl insisted that she was too young ta 
marry; old Heatty declared she would not be in a few months, 
and Utopia, in the best possible humour, declared she would 
be hi years. Thus they continued for several days, the 
old negress becoming more familiar and confidential, and 
endeavouring to make Utopia believe that she ought to be very 
happy at the prospect before her, as she had a lover whom 
any lady might fancy. The girl insisted that no such man 
intended to marry her in the right way, and that if he did 
she would not have him. One night as Heatty ushered her 
into her bed-room, her face collapsed with a horrid laugh, 
which rung with a sepulchral sound through the house, as she 
-said "he '11 be here to-morrow — he-he-he — won't you be 
happy, my lark ! " 

Utopia trembled all over, and that night said her prayers 
with more than usual fervour. 



CHAPTEE XXIII. 

A WOED FOB QIRLHOOD —UTOPIA IN THE WILDSKNESS— PERILS BI THE WAT 

THE POOOSIN TRIDMPHS OVEK THE PANTHEB. 

LBEiT many do affect to speak contemp- 
tuously of young girls of a certain unripe 
age even until "the boarding-school 
Miss," hath passed into a byword, 
' importing a giddy young creature, I am 
not ashamed freely to express the de- 
light which the sight and conversation of 
^ these guileless beings cause in me. And 
as the crudities of youth, and the eifervescence of passion have 
passed away, and the mould of time bespeaks a sobered judg- 
ment, who can say that a wild or wayward fancy doth hold 
13 




'DS AnVENTURES OF 

my reason captive and fill the mind with its illusive phantoms ? 
There be divers things, said to be fair in themselves, and 
images, or types of a more subtle, spiritual beauty, with the 
unexpressive essence of which they do, as it were, purify, 
delight, and illume the mind j and chief among these they do 
rank, the mother gazing on the features of her first-born, the 
virgin in her bridal robes of white, kneeling before the altar, 
and the love-lorn lassie as she sits at her window, in the 
twilight hour, thinking of a brave soldier lad who 's " o'er the 
hills and far away." I will not deny that such sights dispose 
me to pleasant contemplation; but by far the sweetest picture 
that ever I could look upon, was the fair, free, and blithesome 
girl, too old to be a child, and too young to be a woman. This 
is what you may call the maturity of childhood, whose 
motions are the unwritten poetry of nature, and whose tongues 
can now discourse the celestial harmony which God hath 
written on the infantile heart and mind. What a fragance 
they breathe around, like fresh amaranthine flowers gathered 
in paradise, and still glittering with ambrosial dew ! Their 
Hps are the lyres of angels, and their bright faces shine upon 
our aged aud sinful hearts like the morning lights of heaven. 
The above extract is taken from the work of an old author 
whose thoughts have become the thoughts of the writer of 
these memoirs, and whose name is held in too much reverence 
to be mentioned here. Like him, we have ever loved to look 
upon " the fair, free, and blithesome girl ; " and as we picture 
to ourselves the bright face of Utopia, glowing with the fresh 
thoughts and hopes which the cheerful light of morning 
brought, she looks, indeed, like " an amaranthine flower just 
gathered in paradise." She had, during the night, thought 
much and anxiously on the words of old Heatty, and the 
more she pondered them, the more did they fill her with 
fear, until at last she came to a determination which indica- 
ted both her simplicity and her alarm. It was some time 
before she could be made to realise the dreadful truth; that 
this world contained some very bad men, and she would still 
keep asking herself the question, how can any one be so 
wicked as to wish to ruin me, when 1 have done no harm ? 



OLD DAN tUCKER. 99 

How he could be so wicked, she could not understand ; but 
that some one was so depraved, her situation and the conduct 
of the old negress left her no room to doubt. In fact, she 
had a vague fear of something even worse than death, and 
she resolved to fly, not doubting but that she would soon 
come to some settlement of civilised people, and that the first 
One whom she might meet would be glad to succour her and 
send her home. She thought she remembered that she had 
come from the south, and in that direction she believed her 
home to be. But there was no river on the south, and she 
had been landed from a boat; how was this to be accounted 
for ? The river was on the east, and ran north and south, 
and doubtless, thought she, by following along its banks, I 
shall be going in the right direction; Accordingly, she dressed 
herself in her best clothes, in order to deceive Old Heatty ; 
found an opportunity at breakfast of providing herself with 
some coarse provisions, and took the guinea which Bladen 
had given her, and which she always carried about her, and 
so secured it to her person that it could not possibly be lost. 
Her course, she saw, would lie through the midst of the 
swamp, which was wet, miry, and covered with tangled brake 
and reeds, bushes and trees : still she determined to plunge 
into it, and expected soon to find dry land and a road. 

Early in the morning, and while old Heatty was engaged, 
at her breakfast, the girl with a beating heart and a beaming 
face, plunged into th« thicket. For awhile, fearful of pursuit, 
she took little pains in picking her way, and hurried straight 
onward, heedless of the briers that rent her clothes a^nd 
scratched her face and hands, and of the miry puddles through- 
which she floundered ankle deep. At every sound in the 
woods, she looked fearfully behind her, fearing only old 
Heatty; and thus she struggled on through plashes and 
thickets, until her dress was spotted over with blotches of 
mud, and her limbs weary with exertion ; and then, with a 
heaving breast and glowing cheek, she paused to rest and 
look round her. On every side the dismal swamp presented 
its interminable gloom : the black waters still glistened 
Etround her and hot a rfent in the wood-s, not a road or path^ 



100 ADVENTURES OP 

was anywhere to be seen. When she looked back, her vision 
was soon quenched in the dark wilderness through which she 
had passed ; and cheered with the thought that she was now 
beyond the reach of pursuit, she resumed her journey, more 
carefully threading her way, and stepping on the hillocks of 
dry grass, which she followed wherever they led. No longer 
apprehensive of pursuit on the part of old Heatty, a new 
fear now took possession of her, and her imagination began 
to people the dreary and obscure waste with grim monsters 
and beasts of prey. Ever and anon her heart would rise in 
her throat as some new and fearful sound would ring through 
the woods, and then she would be reassured by the cheerful 
songs of the birds, who were company to her, and who seem- 
ing not the least frightened themselves, would help to dispel 
her fears. At last and to her great joy, a light broke through 
the woods, before her, and she arrived at a dry glade, covered 
with stunted grass and a few scattered trees. It was a sandy 
ridge, running through the swamp, and must have been a 
grazing place for deer and cattle, for Utopia found a well- 
trodden .path upon it, and made sure she was now near some 
human habitation. The sun was already considerably past 
the meridian, and feeling more easy, the girl sat down by 
the root of a tree, and made a frugal meal off part of the 
provisions which she had brought with her. 

Again, with brighter hopes and stronger energies, she re- 
newed her journey over the wild and lonely heath ; but when 
the sun was near the western horizon, she was still in the wil- 
derness. Night came ; thick darkness curtained the forest, 
thousands of fire-flies sparkled in the gloom, the owls 
screeched and hooted through the woods, and myriads of frogs 
began their harsh and hideous minstrelsy. A stouter heart 
than that of Utopia would have quaked at the strange and deaf- 
ening sounds and clamours with which the inhabitants of the 
swamp made a dismal serenade, and the poor girl, half dead 
with fright, hurried on till the night was far advanced, and 
she was worn down with fatigue. She had scarcely looked 
before her, and had kept her thoughts fixed on heaven, and on 
Qrody the father and friend of the friendless ; and when she 



0I.T1 DAN TUCKKE. 101 

came at last to an open place and heard a mocking.bird, she 
believed that her prayers had been answered. She here ate 
a scant supper, and commending herself to the keeping of an 
Omnipotent Protector, she lay down upon the grass and un- 
dertook to sleep. As she looked up, the stars seemed to smile 
kindly upon her; the mocking-bird came nearer to her, and 
seemed to make her the burden of its lively chatter, while 
she formed for it a strong attachment, laughed at its merry 
tallies, and felt half disposed to speak to it in return. Before 
she was aware of it, she was fast asleep, dreaming of that bird 
and listening to its long stories, and thus she continued, until 
she was awakened by a cry of distress. The morning was 
breaking in the east, but she was filled with speechless terror 
by the sound which had disturbed her dreams, and which 
seemed to have burst over her head. She immediately re- 
sumed her journey, and again that cry which had disturbed 
her imagination, rang through the woods, making the girl's 
hair rise on end, and causing her to tremble in every limb. It 
was the sound of a human voice — she was certain it was — 
and the person seemed to be in the utmost agony. She 
stopped and listened ; and though her fears were increased, 
her sympathies were excited also, for the cry now seemed to 
be that of a female. It was a fearful, a heart-rending wail, 
and the girl started, in a run, towards the place whence 
it issued, and as it was now broad daylight, she looked about 
in the grass for the poor suffering creature. The voice now 
shrieked behind her, and Utopia, who was close upon it, 
could distinguish it to be that of a child, who was screaming 
and moaning in the most pitiable manner. It was heart- 
rending to hear its wild and piercing cries in that lonely and 
savage place, and Utopia, with her breast aching for the deso- 
late little stranger, quickened her pace, when suddenly a 
hideous yell froze her blood, and a huge panther leaped from 
a tree before her. For a moment terror took away her 
breath, and she was about to sink powerless to the ground ; 
but her spirits and courage quickly rallied, and she began 
to run. She then recollected what she had heard about the 
danger of turning one's back on such creatures, and she 



10^ ADVBNTtlRKS-'OF ' 

Stopped and screamed at it with all her power. The great 
ferocious looking beast, which was advancing stealthily 
-behind her, stopped when she stopped, and crouching down, 
stared at her with its wild and savage eyes, whining in the 
most dismal manner, and angrily lashing the leaves with its 
tail. She ran a few paces farther, and again stopped, and 
tried to scare the fierce monster away; but it mocked 
her with its dreadful cries, jumping about and rolling 
over as if to show its activity and power. Thus they cout 
tinued for nearly an hour, the monstrous and frightful brute 
making the woods echo, and hushing every bird with its 
occasional screams and yells, and when Utopia would turn 
towards it, rolling over and over, and frisking about in a 
playful manner, as if delighted with the looks of the girl. 
Even its playfulness, however, made it the more terrible to 
look at, and the girl at last determined to face it until she 
frightened it away. It was now close to her ; they were on 
an open sandy place, and Utopia shuddered as she got a fair, 
full view of her companion. It stared boldly and impudently 
at her, and she hesitated in her purpose, when she was over-; 
whelmed by a sudden and terrific souiid, as it seemed to her> 
and the panther, with a yeU, bounded furiously at her. She 
fell half swooning, and the beast leapt over her — and grappled 
with Walter Tucker, who fell with his antagonist, and rolled 
over with it in the sand, The conflict was of short duration, 
for the point of the boy's knife touched the panther's heart 
at the first blow, and it lay gasping its last, and empurpling 
the sand with its blood. Walter lay beside it, his face and 
hands and clothes red with blood, and Utopia at first could 
hardly tell whether he was alive or dead. He spoke to her, 
however, assuring her that he was not dangerously hurtj but 
when he came to examine his wounds, he almost changed his 
opinion, while the girl was so alarmed at his situation, that 
she was nearly incapable of rendering any assistance. The 
panther had made a deep gash upon his left shoulder, and 
rent his breast with its claws, having torn away the flesh in. 
two places nearly to the bone, and the blood was rapidly 
streaming out, and the young man becoming faint and sick. , 



.'; .:^i , / 



/ r 




UTOPIA ALARMED BY THE PANTHER. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 103 

He and Utopia stanched his wounds as well as they could, 
and bound them up, Walter never losing his presence of 
mind, and having considerable skill in the knowledge of 
simples. He was barely able to walk ; and regretting that 
he could not carry with him his fallen foe, he contented him- 
self with its scalp, which he took off as a trophy, and started 
with Utopia for the nearest settlement on Pamlico Sound. He 
told her, on the way, what had befallen her mother's husband 
and her mother, of all of which she had been ignorant, and 
advised her to go directly to New Berne, where in all proba- 
bility, she would find Mrs. Eicketts. The girl, greatly dis- 
tressed at the news, wished to know what would probably be 
done with her mother, declaring that she was certain of her 
innocence, and that it would so appear, and overwhelm her 
accusers with shame and confusion. Walter, smarting with 
the wounds which his sensibility had received in New Berne, 
was not in a mood to think highly of, human nature, or the 
course of justice when administered by men, and he was 
yet too much of a boy to conceal his sentiments. He 
therefore drew the most gloomy picture of the probable result 
of Mrs. Ricketts' trial ; a picture which caused but a momen- 
tary despondency in the breast of the girl, who was of an 
eminently hopeful disposition. 

She readily answered Walter's predictions of ill, quickly 
devising a succession of schemes for her mother's escape, 
each one of which Walter would as readily knock down, 
until, at last, the girl burst into a laugh, telling her compa- 
nion that she believed he was determined to make the world 
a miserable place. 

" It is a wretched hole," said he ; " an infamous place, 
where success is honour and might is right. That's the sum 
total of all law; it's all summed up in that single sentence." 

Utopia looked at the speaker intently, as if she did not 
understand him, and replied : " There are some good people, 
I know ; and I believe Miss Alice Bladen will help mother, 
and see that justice is done her." An equivocal smile 
wreathed the lip of Walter, as he answered, " Perhaps you'll 
find reason to change your opinion. She may be good 



104 ADVENTURES OF 

enough in her own way, but I doubt whether the misfortunes 
of the poor and the humble ever find much sympathy in her 
breast." 

" Why, was sne not kind to me and to mother?" said 
Utopia; "and Mr. Bladen was too." 

"And how did Mr. Bladen show it?" asked "Walter. 
"Doubtless he and his sister spoke kindly to you while they 
were your stepfather's guests, and dependent upon him and 
you for their comfort." 

" He did more than that," replied Utopia ; " he gave me 
this" — showing her money — " and said he was going to give 
me one like it every year until I learned to read, and write, 
and sing, I can read a little now." 

" Yes ; and there's something else he wished you to learn," 
said Walter ; " and you did a foolish thing when you took 
that money. Now, I '11 tell you my notions of the world. 
(Some men by fraud and violence, and meanness, make fortunes 
and get into power; they then make laws, and make them- 
selves titles, and are called the higher ranks. When they get 
into these ranks they become separated, in heart and soul, and 
feeling, from those who are just like them, only in a lower 
rank ; they think themselves a superior race, and they talk 
about their blood as if we were not all descended from Adam, 
and as if they did not rise from the common people. If one 
of these is ever so mean, he is thought to be better than 
the best in a lower rank ; and you might be as good as a saint 
and as beautiful as an angel, and still one of these nobiliiy 
would be ashamed to marry you. They look on us as made 
for them j and when they condescend to speak kindly to us, 
they expect to make use of us just as we make use of horses 
and cattle, and feed them and use them kindly. When we 
were all on the beach, did not Alice Bladen and her brother 
seem like us ? Were they not made like us, looked like us, 
talked like us, and acted like us ? Were they any better, or 
fairer, or more mighty ? Now when you get to New Berne 
they will act as if you and they were a different kind of beings 
— as if they came from some upper region, aud you from the 
dust of the earth, " 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. 105 

Utopia listened attentively to what Walter said, and he con- 
tinued in this strain, entertaining her with an account of the 
splendid houses and fine people which he had seen, and not 
failing to give a dark tinge to all the pictures which he drew. 
She would occasionally smile at his warmth, and endeavour to' 
answer his arguments ; but she was a poor hand at metaphysics, 
and knew little of history or of hiiman nature. 

They made slow progress, but they were entertained by 
each other's company and by the scenes through which they 
passed. , At noon they despatched the remains of their joint, 
stock of provisions, and as the evening found them still 
in the swamp, Walter showed how used he was to a life in the 
woods, for he soon loaded his companion with the fruits of 
his unerring arrows, the gun which he now carried being 
seldom used by him. The girl was shocked at what she 
thought his cruelty towards unoffending creatures, but he 
laughed at her simplicity, and justified himself by texts from 
Scripture, and by the necessity of the case. 

They were still in the swamp when night came upon them ; 
they were both weary, and one was sick and wounded, and 
therefore, they kindled a huge fire in the driest place they could 
find, and there prepared to spend the night.* Utopia, much 
amused at Walter's awkward culinary attempts, found herself 
compelled to cook those animals whose death she had so much 
regretted ; and whUe she was thus engaged Walter made for 

* It may not be improper to say that the swamps of North Carolina are still 
the scenes of tragedy; the panther and the wild cat are still found among them, 
and they still furnish a shelter for thieves aftdfugitjyesjrom justice. It is some- 
times dangerous to travel through them alone at night ; and not long ago a 
daring highway robbery occurred in one of them and within a few miles of New 
Berne. They furnish a secure retreat for those who fly to them for shelter ; and 
a single anecdote will suffice to show how difficult it is to traverse them. A few 
years since the balloon of an seronaut who went up from Wilmington, North 
Carolina, descended into a swamp within about four, miles of the city, and from 
this time, which was about sundown, until twelve o'clock next day, he was floun- 
dering in the wilderness and finally emerged with his flesh lacerated, his clothes 
in ribbons, and covered with mud from head to foot. A party who went out to 
search for his balloon, were two days in finding it. On another occasion, a "gen- 
tleman who was one of a party in search of a runaway, finding it impossible to 
make his way out of the swamp, felled a log into a creek, got on it, and thus 
floated down into the Cape Fear, and down the river to Wilmington. 
14 



105 ADVENTURES OF 

her a bed of leaves, siicli as he could find, and then instructed 
her how to dress his wounds. They were both cheerful and 
happy till bed time came, and then the girl began to feel 
uneasy, for she now remembered with horror the manner 
in which her dreams had been disturbed on the night beforei 
Walter assured her that he would keep watch until morn- 
ing ; but Utopia was unwilling for hiin to undergo such a 
hai-dship, and urged him to sleep first, and let her stay awake. 
This he would not agree to — declaring he could not sleep,* 
and so at last she left him by the fire, and nestled in her 
couch of leaveSi 




CHAPTER XXIT. 

SURPRISE. — SUDDEN APPEARANCE OP WILD BILL — THE MEKIT8 AHD 
DEMERITS OP SLAVERY DISCUSSED BY WALTEB AND WILD BILL. 

TOPIA was trying to persuade herself to 
go to sleep, and Walter was actually 
beginning to nod by the fire, when the 
young man thought he heard something 
crackling the brushwood behind him. 
He was not certain but that he had been 
dreaming; but he roused himself up, and 
raising his gun, strained his eyes upon 
the darkness round him. Utopia, who was watching his 
motions, became instantly alarmed, jumped from her bed, and 
running up to Walter, inquired eagerly what was the matter. 
" Nothing," said he ; " I thought I heard a rabbit or squir- 
rel near me, but I must have been dreaming." 

With this they sat down together, the girl keeping as close 
to her companion as possible, and he endeavouring to prevail 
on her to lie down again. 

'•' There is not the Ibast danger," said he. 
" Not the least," repeated a hoarse voice, while a heavy 
hand was laid on Walter's shoulder. 

Utopia screamed arid her companion sprang to his feet, but 
both of his arms were held behind him, while the voice 
continued : 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 



107 



" Walter Tucker, you're in the hands of a friend. I could 
kill you easily, but I don't want to do it, and must insist that 
you promise not to hurt me. Will you promise ?" continued 
the voice, its owner twisting the arms of Walter as if they 
were small reeds.'' 

" I suppose I'm obliged to," replied Walter, " for I'm in 
your power." 

" May you never be in the hands of a worse enemy," said 
the other, as he released the young man and approached the 
fire. " I'm cold," continued he, " but it is not the first 
time the night dew has been upon my locks. I'm Wild 
Bill." 

Utopia shuddered at this announcement j but Walter, as he 
stared at the author of it, could hardly believe it, for his 
imagination had pictured a different sort of being from that 
which he beheld. 

The wild man was, at first sight, an ordinary looking negro, 
whose face, though not entirely black, denoted unmixed 
blood, and who'se features had an expression more intellectual 
than ferocious. An old hunter, ho-jeever, would instantly 
have known him to be a man of the woods, for his skin had 
that reddish brown, rusty hue, which constant exposure to 
the weather produces, and there was about his look and gait 
an undefinable air that showed an untamed and untameable 
nature. Hp was rather low of stature, but stoutly formed, 
with great depth and breadth of chest, and a naked arm of 
immense size, and almost as hard as ivory. 

" You gaze hard at me," contiaued he, addressing himself 
tp Walter ; " but it's natural, for I've no doubt you've heard 
a great deal about me. }Vhat's the last news ?" 

" News about what ?" asked Walter. 

" About me — Wild BiU ;* have I done anything lately ?" 

* From the earliest times there have been, in eastern Carolina, remarkable run- 
away slaves, who lived in caves in the sand, and in swamps ; and the exploits 
and crimes and stratagems of these black heroes have been, and are still, topics 
of wondering, ^n4 sometimes fearful interest, at the family fireside. 

The swamps e^ecially, are full of such characters ; and some years ago, when 
the Great Dismal Swamp caught tire, and burned for several weeks, many lit 



108 ADVENTURES OF 

" You ought to kno-w better than I," answered Walter, 
" You know when and how you committed a most brutal and 
barbarous murder lately." 

" I don't know to which one you allude," said the negro ; 
" I've done so much of that business lately, that I hardly know 
■the jiames of all the cases." 

" You seem to make yourself merry at the recollection of 
it," rcjplied Walter, steppiiig back and slightly raising his gun. 

"Come, young man, don't disturb yourself," returned 
Wild Bill ; " I'understand you, and you may as well put down 
your gun. Would you shoot me ; kill me in cold blood ?" 

" I will not kill you, if you'll surrender," said Walter, " and 
let me deliver you up to justice." 

" To justice !" exclaimed the negro, his wild laugh start- 
ling his listeners. " You deliver me up to justice ! Do you 
know what you're talking about ? Do n't you know what 
justice is ? Do n't you know that it is the will of the strong ? 
the instrument by which great folk oppress, and rob, and beat 
down the poor and weak? lA^a^a., justice !" cried he with a 
scornful look and tone, "how I hate to hear a canting hypo^ 
crite. use that word." 

"I know it is often misapplied," said Walter, " but that is 
no reason why a murderer and robber should not be 
hanged." 

" And who will hang him ?" asked the negro ; " the liars, 
thieves^ and murderers, who rob mankind of their rights, 
and make laws to sanctify their crimes ? Young man, my 
liands are rough and hard, but there is no smell of innocent 
-blood upon them ; my skin is hard and ugly, bat my soul is 
whiter than that of the whitest judge who sits upon the 
bench. What have I done ? what is my crime, that I must 
be an outcast and an outlaw, hunted from swamp to swanip, 
with a whole nation for my enemies, and not a human soul 
to speak to me in the language of friendship ?" 

" What have you done ?" exclaimed Walter ; " why 

these wild tenants of the wilderness were driven from their hiding-places. It is 
said, that one woman who had run off when quite young, returned to her owner 
with a large family of children. 







■WILD BILL, WALTER AND UTOPIA. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 109 

robbed and murdered peaceable and unoffending people, 
turning your hand against every man, and making for your- 
self enemies of all mankind." 

" Let the great God of heaven and earth crush me this 
instant, if the guUt of a single murder or robbery lies heavy 
on my soul !" cried Bill 

" Then you are greatly oeiied," said Walter. 

" And so is he they call the Devil," replied Wild Bill ; 
"mankind are fond of laying all their sins on some hated 
scapegoat. Young man, you know little of this world, and 
when you come to know it, your honest heart will sicken. 
Here am I, an unoffending, lonely creature, living on wild 
fruita, and the beasts of the forest, molesting no one, taking 
no part in the affairs of men, and desiring only to live in the 
wild woods, a free man ; and yet, for that very reason, my 
name has become a bugbear to frighten children and old 
grannies, and a thousand weapons are aimed at my heart. 
And who are my enemies ? who are my judges ? Where are the 
red men who once roamed these woods in freedom ? Swept 
away, root and branch, by those who are after me with the 
vengeance of the law ! These woods, and rivers, and towns, 
and swamps, and fields, belonged to another race : a race 
that never visited foreign lands, and never carried civilisation 
and death to foreign nations. But the pale-faces and their 
red laws came here, and where are now the poor savages 
whom the Christians came to bless ? Their bones are 
strewn with the dead logs of the forest and the swamp, and 
their souls are all gone to the Indian's heaven ! And what 
did they get for their hunting grounds here ? The sword 
and the bayonet — the justice of the white man !" 

" There is some truth in that," said Walter, colouring ; 
" I've often thought of the injustice done to the Indian, and 
sometimes fancy that from their blood will spring avengers 
to curse the land which has been so freely watered by it." 

" And will not the wrongs of another coloured race call 
for vengeance also ?" asked the negro. " Is the Indian who 
died on his native hills to be pitied, and no tear shed for the 
poor African who is torn from his home, his wife, children. 



llO ADVENTURES OF 

and kindred, and dragged in chains, like a condemned 
criminal, beyond the seas, to be beaten and driven like the 
brutes ? Who is God and where is he ?" continued the 
negro, his nostrils dilating and his chest heaving ; " does he 
not sit in heaven and mark the unexpressed wailings, the 
inward prayers, and the heart sickness of those thousands of 
thinking, rational, and immortal souls, whom the white men 
drive and beat as they do their oxen and their horses ? Do 
you know that the negro as well as the white man has an un- 
dying spirit that looks to heaven, and that it will meet its 
master's as an eq[ual at the bar of God ? Master ! God only 
is my master ? 

" Our English ancestors did all this," replied Walter, 
" and I and my people are not responsible for it. Slavery is 
now a condition of our society, and it can't be helped ; in 
fact, the negroes are better off than they would be if they 
were all set free." 

" / am better off free, and woe be to the man that attempts 
to take me," returned Wild Bill. 

" Your master has a right to you, andVould be justified in 
killing you, if you would not surrender," answered Walter. 

" My^ master !" cried the negro : " young man, who is 
your master ?" 

" No man," answered Walter. 

" Not even the king?" asked the negro. 

" Yes J that is, he is' my sovereign, and I owe him alle- 
giance." 

" And ain't there a talk of throwing off this allegiance? ' ' 

" The people complain of his ministers," replied Walter. 

" And do they not complain of oppression and tyranny ? " 
asked Wild Bill. 

"They do, and they do it justly ! " answered Walter. 

" And if the people were to unite to throw off the royal 
yoke and have a government of their own, would 'nt you 
join them?" 

« That I would." 

" Now, sir, can you blame my.people if they unite to throw 
off the yoke of their masters?" 



OLD DAN TUCKER. Ill 

" The case is altogether different," said Walter. " In the 
first place they could 'nt do it, and therefore it would be use- 
less bloodshed ; in the second ;^lace we are two distinct nations 
living in the same country, and one or the other must be 
masters of it. The Americans only wish to dissolve their 
coimexion with a distant country ; you wish to destroy a 
nation. We are, for your own good and ours, obliged to keep 
you in bondage for the present, and we are justified by the 
laws of God and man. I've no doubt that some day our 
people will do the best they can for the negroes, and try to 
set them free, when they can do so consistently with the safety 
of the whites and the welfare of the blacks. But if you ex- 
cite an insurrection you will be guilty of the horrible crimes 
caused by a civil war, and you will rivet the chains of your 
race for a century longer. I believe all, or nearly all, the 
white people feel deeply the responsibility resting on them," 
and are truly sorry for the condition of the negroes ; they are 
their best friends — I mean the masters. Those white scamps, 
with black hearts and. forked tongues, T^ho go about prating 
about the horrors of of slavery, and trying to cause rebellions, 
are the worst enemies of the human race ; they are seeking 
their own individual interests, and care no more for the blacks 
than they do for the whites, and would sacrifice both to gain 
their ends." 

" I have nothing to do with them," said the negro : " I 
was only talking of our right to rebel." 

" You have no right to rebel unless you have reasonable 
hopes of success," replied Walter ; " and if you rebel when 
there is no possible chance for you, you are a wholesale assas- 
sin, a pirate, and as such will be judged by God and man." 

" You argue your side well," said Wild Bill, smiling. " I 
did not think to find an unpractised youth so expert with the 
weapons of logic." 

" I can return your compliment," replied Walter, looking 
curiously at the negro. " I 've been surprised to hear such 
language from " 

" From a negro 1 " exclaimed Wild BiU, with an equivocal" 
laugh. " 1 know very well what you mean, and you need 



112 ADVENTUEES OF 

not apologise. My people were the lowest barbarians in 
Africa : they have been slaves here; and are, I know it well, 
vastly inferior to the whites. It is the mode of life that has 
caused this ; we are all one people — children of a common 
father. My mother was a pet slave, and tolerably well edu- 
cated. J was thought to be smart when a boy, and my mother 
and my young master took great pains in teaching me. May 
God rest their souls in heaven ! " 

" Your young master ! " cried Walter. " I thought you 
had no master." 

" I was living in the past, just then ; the good old times 
that are past were before me. But, as I was going to say, I 
was carefully instructed until I was twenty. I read all my 
young — all the books o£my master's son, and I 've been, for 
years past, a reader of nature, and a thinker. I can read and 
write, too ; and, would you believe me ? I write verses, and 
set them to music. You smile, my little friend," continued 
the negro, turning to Utopia. " It seems strange to you that 
the blood-thirsty Wild Bill should be a musician. Folks, 
when I am dead and gone, will tell long and terrible stories 
about me — they will tremble at the very mention of my name ; 
and yet, as my master, God, can witness, my heart yearns 
with the feelings, the hopes, and fears, and sentiments that 
burn in the bosom of this innocent girl. I 'm a great, ugly- 
looking monster, ain't I, Utopia ? " 

"I don't know, sir,". said the girl, o.usmng, smiling, and 
hanging her head. 

"I know I look so," continued Wild Bill; "but both o. 
you shut your eyes and listen to my song, and see if it sounds 
like that of a robber." 

The negro insisted on Walter's obeying his wish, just to 
see what opinion he would form of him from the mere sound, 
of his voice ; and the lad, amused at the request, covered his 
face with his hands— as did, also, Utopia — while both listened 
with eager curiosity. 

They were not kept long in suspense; nor could they 
realize that they were in the presence of a wild man of the 
woods, as, with a voice full of feeling and pathos, and to an 



OLD DAN TUCKKK. 113 

air plaintive and tender, he sang words which, though simple, 
and even rude, embodied, like all negro songs, a wild and 
melancholy tradition, and breathed, on that account, a senti- 
ment homely, but touching and sad. 

There was something in this song, and in the manner in 
which it was executed, that affected Walter Tucker to tears ; 
and he sat for a few moments in deep reverie, to enjoy the 
fancies, sweet and sad, that floated through his mind. His 
opinion of the negro underwent a change ; and raising his 
eyes to s6e if the singer had not actually changed from his 
colour, he found that he had vanished in the darkness. 
Utopia had, through her fingers, kept her gaze fixed on 
Walter ; and when the latter rose, she rose also', her fears 
retxurning thick upon her when she found that Wild Bill 
was gone. 



CHAPTEE XXV. 

WALTEK TTTCKEe'b IDEAS OF SOCIETY.— UTOPIA AREIVES AT NEW BEEXP.^ 
AN UNWELCOME TISITOB AT THE PALACE ; AND AN UNEXPECTED KETE- 
LATION. 

ALTER Ttjckee Conducted Utopia safely 
within view of the town of New 
Berne, and then prepared to bid 
her adieu. They had reached an 
elevated place on the western or 
north-western side of the city, from 
which they had a fair view of the 
town, and the glistening waters which 
surround it: but while the prospect 
seemed to fill Utopia with new and strange emotions of plea- 
sure, the countenance of Walter grew dark, and his eyes 
beamed with an unpleasant meaning. 

" Utopia," said he, stopping, " you are now safe : keep 
straight on until you get into the town, and inquire for Mr. 
Dufrong. There you will find father, and he will instruct 

you how to proceed-," 
15 




114 ADVENTURES OF 

"You're not going to leave me, sure?" spoke the girl, 
her face lighted up with more than usual expression. 

" For the present," answered "Walter. " Are you afraid 
to go into the town by yourself?" 

" Oh no, sir," replied the girl. " I 'm not afraid, now that 
I 've got among civilised people j but I am afraid for you." 

" For me ? Why so, Utopia ? " 

" I don't know, sir," answered the girl. " You look so 
sad, I don't know what to think of it." 

" Don't fear me, child," said Walter ; " I can take care of 
myself." 

" And you're determined to go back into the swamps," said 
the girl. " Oh, they are so gloomy, and so full of strange 
wild beasts ! Please, please don't go back ! " 

" Utopia," said Walter, " there 's the den of wild beasts 
you and I both should fear most. There," contiuued he, 
pointing towards New Berne, " there is where live my ene- 
mies and yours ; there, among the gentry and fine folk of 
New Berne. I 've made a vow not to enter that town until 
I can enter it as the equal of the greatest man in it, and I 
won't ! Here we must part ; and mind what I say, panthers 
and wolves will harm you less than would the fine people 
whom you are now going amongst." 

The tears started into Utopia's eyes, and her voice sounded 
with an inexpressible sweetness as she said, " I hope we '11 
meet again, Walter. Please take this; you'll have more 
need of it than I will." 

'• That 's the money you got of Robert Bladen," replied 
Walter, with a glowing cheek, " and I '11 touch nothing of 
his : besides, you '11 have more need of it than I will. That 's 
a god that your fine civilised people all worship j but we, 
who live in the woods and swamps, worship a greater Deity. 
Keep it, for you will need it: keep it, but beware how you 
receive gifts from him who gave it to you. Farewell ; and 
may God be with you ! " 

" Good-bye !" said Utopia, with a tone that long lingered 
in the ears of Walter. She often turned to look at him, 
moving slowly forward, while he was in sight; while he, 



OLD DAN TTJCKEE. 115 

with his bow on his arm, and a quiver of arrows on his 
shoulder, strode hastily away, and was soon lost" in the 
woods. 

As Utopia carefully threaded her way into the town of 
New Berne, her appearance drew a curious glance from all 
who met her. Her dress, though coarse, soUed, and torn, 
was arranged with a delicacy of taste not often manifested by 
those so poorly clad ; and from her face there beamed a light 
that irradiated with a golden sunshine the breast of every 
beholder. She nodded her head, smiled, and spoke to every 
passer-by who looked towards her; and in this way she; 
passed on, breathing around her an atmosphere of sweetness 
and purity. Some there were, however, in whose hardened 
hearts the sweet radiance of her countenance kindled no gen- 
tle emotions ; and, strange to say, one of this very sort was 
the first whom she accosted with a question. In her simplicity- 
she had supposed that the well-dressed people were all well 
educated, and therefore refined and good ; and so, meeting a. 
company of gay and elegant youths, she was tempted to stop 
and inquire of them the way to the " Carolina Inn." 

" I '11 show it to you, and go with you to it," said the 
young man, winking at his companions. 

" It 's a large, fine house, and the landlord is a very great 
man." 

So saying, and followed by his tittering companions, he led 
her down one square, and then, turning to the right up a 
broad and beautiful street, he pointed out to her the house 
which she was seeking. 

" By the way, what's your name?" inquired the young 
stranger. 

" Utopia," answered the girl. 

"Utopia what?" asked her guide; "have you no other 
name?" 

" No, sir," replied the girl ; " they never gave me any 
other." The answer caused a stare among the young men, 
and the girl observed that they laughed and whispered to 
each other. 

'' Here I must leave you," said the one who had spoken 



116 ABVENTUEES OP 

before ; " that large, fine building just a-head of you. Is the 
' Carolina Inn.' You see it extends clean across the street; 
and you must know that it is a very fine and curious place. 
A man will meet you at the door ; tell him you wish to be 
presented to his Excellency, as you have something for him, 
(his Excellency is the landlord), and when you see him, the 
landlord, ask him if he can give you lodging." 

" It 's Mr. Tucker I want to see," said the girl, " and my 
letter is for him." 

" Mr. Tucker will be sure to be there," replied the young 
man j " if he is not you can inquire for him. You must be 
very particular, and go exactly by my directions." "Yes, 
sir." " Don't forget to call for his Excellency, and when you 
find him, be will be sitting in a large arm-chair, in a splendid 
room — when you see him call Mons. Duirong, tell him you 
want lodging at his house, and that you wish him to send for 
Mr. Tucker immediately." " Yes, sir," repeated the girl, as 
she passed on to the door of the Governor's Palace, through 
which, after some delay, she was admitted. The Governor 
was just then holding a levee, and the astonishment of the 
elegant and perfumed crowd inay well be imagined, as a 
coarsely clad girl pushed her way among them, taking each 
one near her by the hand, and finally approaching his Excel- 
lency and saluting him in a similar way. 

"Mr. Dufrong," said she, scarcely stopping to recover 
breath, "is Mr. Tucker in? I 've got a" — 

" Gracious heaven ! what does all this mean ! " said his 
Excellency, rising. " Who sent you hither, girl ? By my 
life, they shall sufier who put this trick upon me. Here, 
carry her out, some of you, she soils the chamber." 

" Will your Excellency permit me to interpose," said a 
gentleman, approaching the Governor; "the girl has been 
misled, and yet she may have business with your Excellency." 

"Business with me !" cried Governor Martin, now furious 
with rage; " do you mean to insult me, Mr. Harnett?" 

" Certainly not," said Mr. Harnett, coolly ; " it strikes me 
that this is the girl of whom I have heard, and if so, she has 
a grievance — " 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 117 

- " Grieoance, indeed ! " exclaimed his Excellency, losing 
aU presence of mind ; " I say, sir, let me never hear that 
word again. I hare a serious notion to have it condemned 
by statute, and the use of it made criminal." 

" Perhaps if your Excellency -would listen to the word 
more patiently, you would not hear it so often," replied Cor- 
nelius Harnett. 

" And perhaps your early attention to it, and appreciation 
of its meaning, may prevent your ears from being offended by 
harsher sounds," spoke a tall figure by the side of Harnett. 

" Colonel Ashe," said Martin, sternly, " your words remind 
me that I had, just now, lost my own self-respect, and conse- 
quently that of my subjects ; I command you," he con- 
tinued, "to leave this presence, and never to return to it, 
until you have made a humble and suitable apology for the 
indignity you have offered to his majesty's representative." 

" That is while his majesty has a representative here," said 
colonel Ashe, smiling. 

" Silence, Traitor ! " cried the Governor. 

" For your life, colonel Ashe ! " said several courtiers, 
taking him by the arm, "command your temper. Come, 
you should apologise," continued one of them ; " and I 'U 
intercede in your behalf." 

" Unhand me, gentlemen," said Ashe ; " I am calm as a 
summer's, morning, and know perfectly well what I am about. 
Josiah Martin," said he, drawing himself to his fuU height 
and extending his hand towards the person addressed; " I know 
well the respect which is due to the office of first magistrate 
of the people of North Carolina, nor would I willingly offer 
an insult to the Governor of the state — I do not now address 
you as "such : I now denounce you as the tool of a foreign 
tyrant, and I defy you!" 

■ " Does your head feel heavy ?" asked one, as Ashe with- 
drew. 

" It sits not so heavily on his shoulders as his Excellency 
does on this commonwealth," said Abner Nash, the friend of 
colonel Ashe. 

> " Fear not," whispered he to the latter ; " you have a safe 
fortress in the hearts of the people." 



118 ADVENTURES OF 

These things, as may be supposed, were said hastily, and in 
whispers; the Governor and his courtiers, for a moment, 
overwhelmed with astonishment, standing silent and motion- 
less. 

" Will none of you arrest that man?" at length spoke his 
Excellency, 

"By what warrant?" asked Harnett, calmly. 

" A proper one shall be issued," said his Excellency ; " let 
the room be cleared; I must be alone." 

" But what of the girl and her mission?" asked Harnett, 
who all this while had held Utopia by the hand ; " will your 
Excellency be pleased to send for Alice Bladen ? I am satis- 
fied she can unravel this mystery." 

" I never saw a woman who could not make one," answered 
his Excellency; "tell Miss Bladen to honour me with her 
company," continued he, turning to a servant. 

"She's coming," replied the latter, as Alice, the lady 
Carolina Matilda, and a number of others entered the room. 

"Do you know this girl. Miss Bladen?" asked the Gover- 
nor, pointing to Utopia. 

" Utopia, as I live ! " cried the lively Alice ; " my dear 
child, what on earth can you be doing here." And so saying, 
she took Utopia in her arms, kissed her, and asked her a 
hundred questions, not waiting for answers. "' This girl," 
said she, at length, turning to Governor Martin, "is the 
daughter of that Mrs. Eicketts who was recently imprisoned 
in this place. She can give, I have no doubt, a faithful 
account of all the strange transactions at the beach." 

" I am willing to listen," said Martin ; " my mind has 
been deeply troubled, and I shall be glad to escape from its 
tortures, by this bit of romance, which comes in so' oppor- 
tunely. Come, my child, take your seat here, and tell us all 
about the death of Mr. Eicketts, whence you came, and how 
you came here." 

" I 'd rather stand," said the girl. 

" Well, stand, if you will," replied his Excellency ; " but 
take off your bonnet, hold up your head, and speak out." As 
Utopia was in the act of obeying this cominand, her eyes fell 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 119 

on Chester Eowton and Robert Bladen, who were entering 
the apartment, and she began to tremble violently. 

" Why do you fear, child ? " asked Alice, who took her 
seat by Utopia, and put her arm around her ; " you 're surely 
not afraid of brother ? Come, begin your story." 

The girl, after speaking to Bladen, who also took his seat by 
her, glanced timidly at Rowton, and began her simple story. 

Gathering confidence as she proceeded, and forgetting 
those about her as past events took possession of her mind, 
she kept her audience in breathless silence for an hour, 
relating in a style simple and graphic, what she had seen and 
heard, and what had happened to her since the departure of 
the Bladens from the beach. She passed lightly over that 
part of her own history which was most mysterious, and it 
was only after repeated questions that she could be induced 
to tell the particulars of her imprisonment ; but of her escape 
and wanderings, her meeting with Walter Tucker, his assist- 
ance and his conduct, she spoke in such terms as made an 
impression on the minds of her hearers. She now begged to 
be allowed to go to Mr. Tucker, firmly and respectfully 
refusing to remain with Alice Bladen in the palace ; and Mr. 
Harnett, who had become interested in her fate, undertook to 
conduct her to the inn. She had, she said, but one favour to 
ask, and that was to share her mother's imprisonment. 



120 ADVENTURES OP 




CHAPTEE XXYI. 

A MIDNIGHT COITNOIL. — PLOTS AND STKATAOEMS. — " COMING EVENTS OAST THBIB 
SHADOWS BEFORE." 

ATE in the night which followed the oc- 
currences just narrated, sat two men in a 
private room in the Governor's palace en- 
gaged in anxious discussion. They were 
Josiah Martin and Chester Rowton, men 
dissimilar in every respect except cue; 
but that one point of resemblance now 
united them in the closest ties' of friend- 
ship and confidence. Each was ambitious, and each was re- 
vengeful ; each had been stung to the soul by insult and op- 
position, and each was bent on revenge. 

" Yes," said Eowton, " though we pursue different ends, 
our roads lie together; we can be jointly interested in each 
other's aims, and it would, therefore, be folly in us not to 
unite our counsels and our forces." 

" Our forces ! " exclaimed Martin, haggard and peevish. 

" To speak in royal style, where lie your forces, fair cousin ? " 

" Here, my liege," said Eowton, touching his forehead ; 

" here, in the brain, and in 

The unconquerable will, 

And study of revenge, immortal hate, 
And courage never to submit or yield. 

" I tell you, sir, there is the might of a thousand men in 
the brain of one wise counsellor ; aye, sir, one great mind is 
worth ten thousand fools in armour." 

" The wisdom of Solomon cannot save me or the royal 
cause in this accursed colony. I have been governor here 
four years, and I believe that a more factious, turbulent, and 
stubborn people never lived ; they are all ripe for rebellion. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 1^1 

and I have long been sitting on the mouth of a volcano, 
yrom the highest to the lowest they are deeply tainted ; even 
from the venerable and highly respectable* Samuel John- 
ston, the descendant of a noble house, down to the lowest 
^mong the regulators, all have caught the infection. The 
gentlemen about here, and Edenton and WilmingtoUj have 
their heads filled with the most treasonable notions : and as 
for the west, it is a nest of hornets. Witness tha.t meeting in 
Mecklenberg, and its absurd m,anifesto or declaratipn; wit- 
ness the treasonable proceedings at Cumberlan,d, aad, the 
dangerous meetings that are daily held, all over th^ province. 
And witness, too, how the Harrietts, s,nd Harveys, and 
Nashes, and Moores, and Hoopers chuckled when that bold 
traitor, Ashe, insulted me in my own palace ! I must chal- 
lenge that man : y«s, my honour bleeds, and, as I live ! I '11 
waive my rank, lay aside my dignity, and summon him to 
single combat."t 

" May I be allowed to ask your object?" inquired Rowton. 
" Do you wish to kill him, or that he should kill you?" 

" Of course I should wish to kill him," answered Martin. 

"So I supposed," said Rowton; "and that being tbje C3,se, 
it is absurd to place yourself in the way of being the victim. 
The thing can be easily managed another way." 

" Man ! " exclaimed Martin, sternly, " tempt me not ! I 
will not tarnish my honour by a deed so foul as that you 
would name." 

* Samuel Johnston was president of the first provisional council^ or provisional 
government, in North Carolina. He was a gentleman of the highest character, 
and of a distinguished English family. His descendants, modest and unpretend- 
ing, are citizens who would honour any country ; and some of them are amot)g 
the wisest and best people of the Union. 

Cornelius Harnett was a gentleman of substance, a resident of Wilmington, 
and one of the master spirits in North Carolina in the troublous times of the revo- 
lution. The other persons named were patriots of note. 

f Governor Martin had been a member of the Britiih Parliament, and had 
wounded, in a duel, the celebrated John Wilkes, whom he challenged for an 
article reflecting on him in the " North Briton." 

He was accused by the patriots of North Carolina of attempting to incite tne 
negroes to insurrection ; and this charge is supported by the transactions of the 
times. The plan for the subjugation of North Carolina, as recorded in the text, 
16 



122 ADVENTURES OF 

" I only meant to make a suggestion," answered Rowtorii 
" But to the object of our interview. You tell me what I 
knew before, that all Carolina is ripe for rebellion ; we can 
crush these vipers at a blow. There are, as you know, three 
elements in the population of this country : the Highlanders, 
who have recently emigrated, the native whites, and the 
blacks." 

" Would you stir up a servile war ? " asked Martin, 

" Hear me out," replied Rowton. 

" I ask you," again continued Martin, " would you have me 
incite the negroes to insurrection ? " 

" Are not youf subjects ready to rise on you," asked 
Rowton. 

"Yes." 

' Have they not insulted, and would they not depose and 
slay you ? " 

" It is too true." 

" Is not self-defence the first law of nature ? If you are 
driven out of the province, will you not be disgraced ? If 
you subdue it by one sudden and bold stroke of policy, will 
you not defeat a rebellion organised throughout the whole 
country, save one of the brightest jewels of the crown, and 
become one of the greatest and most honoured friends of the 
monarch ? " 

" Proceed with your plan," said Martin, pacing the room. 

" If you will please to be seated," replied Rowton; "I wish 
you to fix your eyes on this map. The Edenton country, as 
you observe, borders on Virginia, and trades principally with 
Norfolk. It is also filled with slaves. Now, Lord Dunmore, 
or some other gallant officer, with a few regulars, might ad- 
vance from the north along this route, by the great bridge, 
in Nansemond ; before he could get to Edenton, the whole 
negro population would be in arms. In the west, I know 

may be regarded as history ; and the author refers to " Martin's History," to 
" Jones's Defence of North Carolina," and to all the historical records of the 
State. The scheme was well laid. Lord Dunmore, who conducted the invasion 
from Virginia, was checked and driven back, and the other parts of the plan 
were defeated as subsequently described in the ttxt. 



OLD BAN TUCKER. 123 

from good authority, there are great numbers of persons who 
■would delight in a civil war ; desperate and greedy wolves, 
who, on a concerted signal, and with your excellency's appro- 
bation, would cut the throats of all the decent portion of the 
^population. These will answer, in the west, for negroes ; 
'they will fight and murder for plunder, and in this way they 
can serve our ends. They can rise simultaneously all over 
the country J embody themselves, and march down to the 
south as auxiliaries of the gallant Highlanders about Cross 
Creek, all of whom are loyal and brave. They came here . 
on account of the lingering distrust of the king, who still 
remembers their attachment to the Stuarts; you and your 
predecessor, Tryon, have made this attachment a pretext for 
exactions — excuse me — and thus they will be ready, when 
occasion offers, to show their loyalty to the house of Hanover, 
and their true Scottish courage and devotion in the hour of 
trial. Well, this Highland army, increased by its western 
auxiliaries, wiU start northward as the Virginia army starts 
south: at the same time. Sir Henry Clinton or Sir Peter 
Parker will arrive in the Cape Fear, just between these two 
divisions, cutting off the retreat of the rebels from both direc- 
tions, and helping, by one grand swoop, to crush for ever 
rebellion in Carolina, and perhaps over the whole country." 

" The plan seems good," said Martin ; " but it is vastly 
complicated." 

" But not impossible," replied Rowtpn ; " all that you will 
have to do you can do easily and quickly. You must open 
a correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton in New York, 
and freely unfold to him all your plans ; you must also give 
me commissions of Generals, Colonels and Captains, in blank, 
and a general power to employ such agents in the royal cause 
as I may think proper." 

" I'll prepare the papers to-morrow," replied Martin: ^'but 
when shall aU these operations commence. There is now no 
pretext for them." 

"Let everything be ready; the time for active and open 
operations will not be long in coming. There is a spirit 
abroad which will soon engender a civil war all over the 



124 ADVENTUEES OF 

country; do you, therefore, be ready to play a great and 
■glorious part." 

" I 'U not be wanting in my duty to my sovereign, at this 
trying crisis j to-Hiorrow I '11 prepare tbe papers you wish. 
And now M^hat say you to a night cup and bed ? " 

"The cup — ^that is, the wine — shall be welcome ; but if your 
Excellency will bear with me a little longer, I would remind 
you that one of the causes or objects of our interview has not 
yet been touched upon. I wish now to say a word concerning 
my own matters." 

" Certainly ; proceed, I am ready to listen, aavise and 
aid." 

"I thank your Excellency; I must have Alice Bladen." 

" She will never marry you," replied Martin. 

" She shall be mine," said Ebwton. 

" As a matter of curiosity," said Martin, " I should like to 
know how you can love a woman — a vain, giddy, pert 
woman — who hates you and insults you." 

" Perhaps I do not," replied Eowton j " perhaps-^but I 
need not say why I wish to get her. I must not be thwarted 
in this — I 'm sure your Excellency wiU aid, as far as you 
can, a subject so good, and a friend so true, and a lover so 
constant." 

"With all my heart ; tell me how." 

" First, you must know that I ask nothing that y&u cannot 
conscientiously grant. The lady's guardian and her best 
friends desire to match her with me, and you are requested 
by the highest authority in this matter to aid me. I will not 
ask you to act the tyrant ; you have but to prevent the lad 
in question from rambling over the country. It is her pur- 
J)ose, I understand, to accompany the lady Carolina Susannah 
to Wilmington — " 

" Say no more," interrupted his Excellency: "no loyal 
subject, whose actions I can control, 'shall go near that den of 
traitors. You shall have your wish." 

"It will not be so easily accomj^lished," said Eowton; "the 
girl is wilful and wayward, and if your excellency does not 
keep strict watch she will give you the slip." 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. 125 

" Not she," replied Martin ; " she shall form part of my 
household, and I 'U be surety for her appearance in this 
place, at any given time." 

" Will your Excellency see that she has no secret inter- 
views with one Tucker, a noted £ddler, whom your Excel' 
lency must remember to have seen ?" 

" I have seen him, but I supposed he had left the city." 

"He still lingers here, for what object I know not," said 
Eowton ; " he is, to my certain knowledge, a dangerous cha- 
racter, and cannot be too closely watched. I am of opinion 
that he knows more about the murder of E.icketts than he 
cares to tell." 

" And if you think so, why have you not taken steps to 
have him arrested ? " asked Martin. 

" The fact is," replied Eowton, smiling, " I dislike to har- 
bour suspicions, aad I never meddle with matters that do not 
concern me. I was so shocked at the tragedy on the beach-, 
that for a while I took a lively interest in the matter ; my 
investigations, however, led me to suspect respectable peoplej 
and so I washed my hands of the whole matter. The foolish 
man who attends m:e — he who calls himself Dr. Eiboso, and 
who is so devoted to my interest — knows facts which impli- 
cate Tucker, and I refer your Exceliency to him. Pardon 
me, for making one more request .j watch the interviews of 
the girl Utopia with Miss Bladen: she will be used by 
Tucker and this wilful lady as a messenger." 

" You would have me become a spy in my own palace,'* 
said Martin, laughing: "but nevertheless I'll do as you wish. 
Let us be true to each other, and we shall both triumph." 

" So I believe," replied Eowton : " I 'm sure you shall, if 
the brain of one -faithful friend can save you." 

Next day there came to the " Carolina Inaa," an oifficer, 
who inquired for Mr. Daniel Tucker, alias Pocosin Dan. The 
latter happened to be the petson accosted : and with a pleasant 
smile, he replied,'"! am Mr. Tucker, at your s:ervice, «ir," 

"By virtue of this warrant, you are my prisoner, sir," 
said the officer, holding a paper in oneiand, seizing with the 
other the collar of old Dan's coat; 



126 ADVENTURKS OV 

" Your prisoner ! " cried Dan, his countenance collapsing : 
" what do you mean, fellow ? " 

The altercation brought out Coon and the other occupants 
of the "Carolina Inn," all of whom were greatly amazed 
when they saw that process, on a criminal charge, had actu- 
ally issued against Dan. They began alternately to abuse 
and entreat the officer, Dan himself assuring that functionary 
that he was as innocent of the charge brought as a child unborn. 
He was totally ignorant of law, and in his simplicity under- 
took to argue with the constable ; the latter, however, like all 
constables, was a man of few words, and immediately con- 
veyed his prisoner to the Court-house, there to answer before 
a justice of the peace. Coon and a great multitude of people 
followed, the former in a towering passion ; and when he saw 
the accusing witness, he eyed him from head to foot, with a 
manner that made even Dr. Ribs quail and hang his headi 
In fact, the huge fiddler seemed greatly interested in the 
Doctor's appearance, walking round him, staring him in the 
face, and scanning his dress and his limbs with the interest of 
a virtuoso ; and when the witness was called as J. Mc. Do- 
nald de Riboso, Coon turned from him, with a contemptuous 
expression, giving vent to his feelings in a deep-drawn em- 
phatic sound which cannot be expressed by letters. As for 
Dan, the observed of all, he sat quietlyand keenly watching 
his accuser, his countenance wearing a thousand different 
expressions, as the witness told his story; he answered briefly 
the questions put to himself, and then desired to be heard 
in his defence. 

" I am making out your mittinius, Mr. Tucker." 

" My mittimus ! " cried Coon in a voice of thunder ; " is 
this what you call law in Carolina ? Is this — " 

" Take your seat, sir !" said the magistrate, sternly, " take 
your seat, sir, or I '11 order you to jail instantly." 

Old Zip seemed little disposed to obey the injunction, or 
heed the threat by which it was accompanied ; but Dan and 
others, whose sympathies seemed to be with the prisoner, 
entreated, and the Virginian took his seat, scowling at the 
magistrate. The mittimus was made out, or rather the 



pLD DAN TtJCKEB. 127 

prisoner was required to give bail, with two sureties, in the 
sum of ten thousand pounds, and being unable to do this, was 
committed. His friend Coon, who was refused admittance into 
the jail, accompanied him to the door of the prison; and there 
the two old fiddlers took an aifectionate leave of each other. 
A single clear drop glittered in the eyes of Dan, as he ex- 
tended his hand and raised his face to heaven : Zip cried 
like a child, sobbing most violently as the ponderous doors of 
the prison were closed, and the huge bolts turned upon Pocosin 
Dan. The latter was allowed to have his fiddle, his money 
and aU. his clothes : and that night his fi:iend sat beneath his 
window until the dawn of the morning. Day after day. Zip 
remained in the city, still lingering about the prison : and at 
last, at the urgent solicitation of Dan, he prepared to leave. 
Late in the night of his departure, he tuned his violin for a 
filial concert with his friend, and then, with no listeners but 
themselves, the lonely widow Ricketts and her daughter, they 
discoursed together a harmony that floated with a melancholy 
sweetness through the silent city. Brisk airs they also played, 
and at last, after a mournful tune, they parted. Zip, with his 
pack, then started on his journey ; but ever and anon he 
would stop to listen to the violin of Dan, and touch his own 
in answer; and thus he continued till he reached a spot where 
he could barely hear the softened strains of the imprisoned 
Dan. There he halted, and executed a martial air with his 
utmost skUl and vigour : the answering notes of Tucker's 
Tiolin swelled full, rich and melodious on the air : and Zip, 
shaking his head as he concluded no guilty man could play 
so nobly, resumed his solitary journey. Arrived at the 
suburbs of the town, he halted again : the moon was just 
rising from the silver waters of the bay beyond, gilding the 
steeple tops, and tinging with colours light and dreamy the 
misty robe of night. With folded arms the tall Virginian 
stood contemplating the scene, and going over in his mind 
the history of the last few months : then slowly extending his 
clenched hand towards the city, muttered, " To think there 
should be such a moon and such a river in Carolina, and 
such a fiddler, too !" and then plunged into the woods. 



128 ADYBNTUEES OP 




CHAPTEE XXVII. 

211' COON HA« AN JU)TENTUBB. — BJJBDEK APPARITION of WALTER TnCKER .— 
DISCLOSURES. — I>EANK HOOPER. —MTSTEBT AND PABStON. 

o the Carolinians at least, it is known 
that there is a large swamp to the west 
of New Berne, and that it is traversed 
by a solitary road. This is Swamp 
Dover, some six miles long : and even 
to this day it is famous as the rendez- 
, vous of robbers and runaway slaves. 
This is the road which the ancient fiddler 
Zip Coon pursued; and familiar as he had become with the 
stories of the tragic incidents and strange adventures in the 
regions through which he passed, he began to feel somewhat 
Uncomfortable. Brave, cheerful, and self-reliant, he certainly 
was : he was, also, well armed, and in excellent health ; but 
still the dark gleaming waters around him, the sombre forests, 
with their myriads of strange min§trels, and the dead and 
speetral-looking pines, with their uncouth limbs and phospho- 
rescent trunks, filled him with a mysterious sort of awe. 
Then he began to recollect stories of witches and ghosts and 
dreadful apparitions ; the wind moaned dismally among the 
trees, and the owls screamed and laughed among the 
bushes. Zip. whistled awhile, but his lips soon became rigid 
then he sang, but his voice echoed fearfully through the 
woods, and hushing the birds, and frogs, and insects, was 
followed by an oppressive silence. Finally he began to hoot 
and shout with the whole force of his lungs, and as he did so 
suddenly an apparition glided into the road before him. He 
was overwhelmed for an instant, dropping his pack and 



OtD DAN TUCKEK. 129 

mechanically raising his gun ; the apparition, swelling to an 
amazing size, advanced with a terrific screaia, and the appalled 
trarellfer fell fainting and muttering his prayers. 

" In. the name of all that is blessgd and holy above, who 
are you ?" said he, as he caine to. 

" 1 am the little Pocosin," answered Walter Tucker, 
sprinkling with watei: the face of his terrified friend. 

" "Was it only you ?" askfcd Zip, greatly relieved ; " I 'in 
sure I sa# the devil, and he waS as high as the tallest tree.'.' 

" People's imaginations always add to, or subtract from, the 
ireality," said philosopher Walter ; " if you ivill excuse me for 
sayitig so, it was ydur fear that made me so large." 

" It all comes from being in this plaguy Carolina," replied 
Zip, now fully recovered ', " if I had been in old Virginny 
I should not have been expecting to see the devil. We 
have no witches there — nor swamps either." 

" Now you're subtracting," said Walter, laughing; "but 
I have no time now to quarrel about 6ui ir fesp'etitive States ; I 
have importait news to tell you." 

" Wdter," spoke Zip, " I hardly believe now it 's you ; 
j^ou have changed atnazingly since I saw ybu ; let me feel 
you, hoy:" and he handled hiin as if he half expected to 
touch an unearthly substance. 

"Some people," aniswered Walter, '^ never change; taey 
kre bobks of a single page ; others change, constantly aiid 
rapidly. That is, they beconie developed ;^ occasions call out 
their real natures, briiig to light their faculties. I am what 1 
always wa's ; late events have only developed ine." 

" I al#ays thought you 'd be & grea;t man," returned Zip : 
''^ but tell me, ■#hat has made j6'a. great so soon, aind what on 
earth are yotr doing here V 

^' Utopia told you ■vi'heil and how I left her, did' she not ?" 
answered Walter. " Well, I plunged into the forest deter- 
mined again to find Wild Bill : t could not ; but by going in 
the directibn from which Utopia came, I fo'iind the house to 
which she vi^'as carried from the beach. It is surrounded on. 
two sides by a swamp; on the other two is' a' river or sheet of 
water which mak6s two parts of a square. 1 came in sight 
17 



130 ADVENTURES OV 

of this place in day time, but I did not wish, then to approach ; 
however, T remained near until I became thproughly satisfied 
that no one was at home, and then I stole up. The house is 
a low, dingy looking one outside ; but never did I dream of 
anything so fine as the inside. It was arranged in the most 
convenient manner ; the parlour was filled with the most ele- 
gant furniture, and one of the rooms was more like the 
chamber of a fairy than of a human being. However, I 'm a 
poor hand at description, and therefore I '11 not attempt one 
of this place j it is a real palace, and while I was roaming 
about from room to room, I heard a loud laugh, and looking 
out at the window, saw a boat, a beautiful little boat, coming 
up, filled with people. I thought I was lost ; but looking 
about I found a great clock in the corner of the parlour, and 
I crept into that, putting the key in my pocket, and keeping 
my eye at the key-hole. Would you believe me ? Among 
the company who came in, was Polly Dawson, the belle of 
Arabia, a girl I used to know on the beach ; she was ele- 
gantly dressed, and with her were several fine gentlenien, 
and very handsome ladies. They all made wonderfully free 
with each other, talking, laughing, and romping; and I 
could gather that Polly lived there, that the place belonged 
to Chester Rowton, and that he was expected there that 
night. It was nearly sundown when I went into the clock ; 
and, determined to see what was to be done, I waited till 
dark. In the course of the evening they had music and 
dancing, and finally was spread the most splendid banquet I 
ever saw. About this time Rowton, covered with mud, rode 
up ; Polly Dawson ran out and kissed him in the most afiec- 
tionate manner, and the whole company paid him the greatest 
attention. They had wines and liquors at supper, and in the 
course of the night they became very merry, and even drunk. 
Then it was that they let out their secrets ; then it was that 
I heard things that will be of interest to the whole country. 
They talked very freely of crushing the rebellion in this 
country j they laughed immoderately at our meetings, and 
speeches, and resolutions, and declared that every leading 
rebel should be hung. Rowton laid open what he called his 



OLD DAN TtJCKEK. 131 

grand scheme for the subjugation of North Carolina; said he 
intended to make Martin a great man, and himself his chief 
counsellor. " Yes," said he, rising and much excited, " yes, 
ladies and gentlemen, the good cause of King George and of 
his Paladins of the swamp, shall triumph; we 'U add to our 
number, and have thirteen to our holy brotherhood ; and as 
for 'the voice of the thirteen States,' as one of their 
bombastic manifestoes has it, that shall be hushed for ever. 
Here 's success to the merry Paladins of the swamp, and 
perdition to the thirteen States !" I could hold in no longer, 
and as they were drinking the toast, I took the key of the 
clock from my pocket, and struck on the bell thirteen times.* 
I struck slowly and distinctly, tiU they all became silent, and 
when I struck the thirteenth blow, the women screamed, and 
the men started from their seats, uttering the most terrible 
oaths. I saw that no time was to be lost, and cried out, 
" Hurrah for liberty and the thirteen States ! " jumping out of 
the clock as I did so, flinging it on the table, and knocking it, 
men and women, over with a tremendous crash. The next 



* It is said that, daring the Esvolution, a party of British officers were dining 
and making merry at the house of the father of Judge Toomer, in Wilmington 
or vicinity ; the owner, who was a distinguished Whig, being absent. When 
full of wine, some one proposed' a toast reflecting on the thirteen States ; and as 
it was drunk, the old eight-day clock in the corner struck thirteen times. The 
officers might have been deceived; but certain it is, they fell upon the clock with 
their swords, and cut it to pieces. The venerable time-piece, with the " scars " 
still upon it, is still in the possession of Judge Toomer. 

The "Faladins of the Swamp " had their originals in real life. In remote 
times, there were many strange and some romantic adventurers in the Eastern 
Carolinas — some of them were of noble families, and led lives whose history would 
be stranger than fiction. The old histories are fiill of accounts of " gentlemen 
pirates," who, as it is said elsewhere, in the text, " braved and bribed" the public 
authorities; they levied a sort of blackTmail on those along the coast, and in some 
respectable families they were received as guests. Of course, these entertainers 
shared in the plunder of their nondescript visitors. 

One of the most celebrated of these — Edward Teach, commonly called Black 
Beard — was famous forbis carousals on land, and his exploits on water, and for 
a long time escaped with impunity. He was at length taken and killed, oflF th6 
coast of North Carolina, after a desperate engagement, by Lieutenant Maynarji 
who commanded two sloops of war, manned in Vu'ginia. It is said that ha 
)aiki. beeii matrried thirts«A times 1 



182 ADVENTUUES OP 

instant I was through the window into the swamp, safe and 
sound. I found my arms where I h^d hid them, and here I 
am, on my ■^ay to, see you aJid father." 

'^ Boy," said old Zip, " I'rp. sorry, I'm truly sorry: — but — ; 
but— How shall I tell him ?" 

" ^hat, do you mea,n 1" said Walter ; haven'f; you recp- 
Tfered yet frjoiji your fright ?" 

" I'ni not thinking about tha^ np'v^," replied Zip ; ''that'^ 
^ very small matter. It 's true, I was a little scared, but it 
was because I was npt in my right mind. No, no, young 
]nan, I 'ye travelled at nigh:^ before, and it, h^s often been, 
said of me, that OJd Nick himself could'nt make me run. 
But I never was iji such a state of niind before ; I haye been 
crying for a wc^k or more, and my heart's all melted away. 
It 's a child's heart now ; I could'nt, face, a pop-gun, boy, I'm 
sp nervous from sorrow." 

" What on earth is thematter with you, uncle Zip ?" asked 
Weaker ; " haye you been in love, and been refused ?'' 

" / be in love in this infernal Ca,rDlina !" exclaimed Zip ; 
"/love anything in these low grounds of sorrow, and J 
from old Virginny, too ! No, sir, no, sir, it's, not Ipye ; boy, 
I'm more nor your uncle now — I 'm your father." 

Zip uttered this in a subdued tone, and Walter, dropping 
his arms, and his whole manner changing, cried, " Is he dead! 
is father dead ?" 

" Not dead," s^id Zip, "not deadj butin p.urgatpry ; he 's 
in jail." 

"Where?" asked Walter, fiercely; "who put him in? 
What did they do it for ? The base dogs, they shall die !" 

" Moderate your anger," said Zip, " and I '11 teU you about 
it ;" and so he did, but with such a vast number of paren- 
theses, apostrophes, exclamations, and episodes, that we can- 
not afford to give his language. 

" That base villain !" exclaimed Walter, gathering up his 
arrows and bow j " that fiend ! I suspected him before. I '11 
break my vow ; I '11 go to New Berne this night. Will you 
go with me, old gentleman?" 

" Old gentleman, eh ?" cried Zip : " the boy's, still im- 



OtD DAN TUCKER. 1S3 

proving ? Who 's a villain, young geiitlem£*ni ? "Who 's a 
fiend?" 

"Chester Rowtpn," said Walter: "will you go with 
tne?" 

" Let 's consider on th^t," answered Zip ; " let 's congider 
first what'fi Lest to be done." 

" I 'm ofi;" said Walter j " will you go ?" 

" Wh^t 's that V' cried: Zip, Tsfith a trembling voice, and 
pointing down the road. 

" I see nothing but an old stump," replied Walter. 

"Listen, listen," cried Zip, becoming still more agitateil: 
"i do n't you hgar something in the woods?" 

" I dPj" said Wa,lter, " and Ipok, there 's a hoxse, and as I 
live, two persons on it." 

" Hallo there !" exclaimed Coon, recovering a^-d becoming 
boldj "-^^ho the devil are you? Approach or I'U shoot," 
continued he, ra,ising his gun, 

" Is not that Mr. Coon ?" a^ked a, soft and boyish voice. 

"•Thg,t 's, my name," replied Zip : "who are you?" 

" A friend, who has seen you in New Berne," answered the 
voice, and the hqijse with ils burden now approached. 

The uew comers were a negro man, extremely aged, and a 
white boy, who dismounted in the. woods, and came running 
up to Coon, as if much delighted to see him. Suddenly, 
seeing Walter, however, the lad paused and iQolied alarmed, 
when Zip said— 

"He's not an Injun, boy, don't be afraid. It's only 
Walter Tucker, another friend^ Who are you, and where 
are you going at this time of night?" 

" I am a student," said the boy, " and my name is 
J'rank Hooper. I am on my way to Wilmington, where I 
live." 

" You've taken a strange time for travelling," said Zip ; 
" and if it was not for your handsome face, I should feel, 
disposed, to fe^ some dark deed. But I see it all now : 
you've, run away: yes, that's it — you didn't want to be 
whipped. I don't blame you, boy : you needn't- be afraid 
of me ; these schQolmasters and I Were, never sworn friends ; 



134 ADVENTURES OF 

and in old Virginny the wliole race of them stand in 
mortal terror of me. So just make a clean breast of 
it, and tell me all about it: — what a tarnal nice boy- 
he is ! " 

"I have not run away from my teacher," said Frank 
Hooper; "he is ^a very clever" man, and never treated me 
amiss. But I have run away from New Berne, or rather left 
secretly ; and the cause is one in which this young man, Mr. 
Tucker, is partly interested. I am sent by the Patriots on 
secret and urgent business to the Patriots of Wilmington ; 
and to keep from exciting the suspicions of the Governor, 
they have put out rumours that I have run off from school. 
The teacher is in the secret, and he is as strong a liberty man 
as any in the whole country." 

" That 's a redeeming quality in him," returned Coon, 
"and I 'm surprised at it, for the preachers and teachers, in 
old Virginny at least, always side with the king." 

" How am I interested in this matter?" asked Walter. 

" I have letters from your father, who is in prison, to a 
great friend of his in Wilmington," said the boy. 

" Will you let me see them ?" inquired Walter. 

" You are suspicious," answered the boy : " but you will 
see I tell the truth. Here they are," continued he, taking a 
packet from his pocket : " these two are from your father to 
Mr. Harnett, and you can see by the direction whether or 
not they are in your father's hand- writing." 

"This is his hand,"' said Walter; "I could tell it 
by a darker moon. Do you know what he wants with Mr. 
Harnett ? and can you tell me if one Chester Kowton is in 
New Berne ?" 

" Your father has written about himself, and about the 
troubles that are brewing in the country ; he has great con- 
fidence in. Mr. Harnett, and wants him to defend his case, 
and also, as he expresses it, to defend the causes of the 
country. I cannot tell you any more now of my business, 
which is urgent and secret. What do you know of Mr. 
Rowton?" 

" I know him to be a villain," answered Walter : " but 



OLD DAN TUCKEE. 135 

■we have no time to talk longer. I wish you a safe and 
speedy journey, Master Hooper, and hope Mr. Harnett 
■will come up to father's expectations. Shall I help you 
on your horse ?" 

" I want Mr. Coon and you to go -with me," replied the 
boy ; " I am very young, and hardly know the road." 

" Mr. Coon can go, if he wishes," said "Walter ; "my road 
lies ia a different direction." ' 

" Yes, but you must go with me," returned the wilful 
boy. 

" And shall go," put in Zip. 

" Must and shall are words which no one but my father 
can use towards me : for the present I am master of my 
own actions, and allow no one to dictate a course of conduct 
for me. Come, Master Frank, it is time for us to part." 

" "Won't you go •with me ?" asked Frank. 

" No," replied "Walter. 

" Please do," said the boy, in a tone soft and tender j " I'm 
afraid to go, with no one with me but Uncle Job, there. He's 
very old and decrepit." 

" Then you ought not to have started with him," replied 
"W alter. " If you are afraid, you can easily go back with me 
to New Berne." 

" Oh, what shall I do !" exclaimed the boy, beginning to 
weep. " If I go back, I am lost, and cannot travel in the 
dark by myself. I thought I should have found a house be- 
fore now, — and — " 

" I can't stand this," said Coon, interrupting the boy. 
" "Walter, my son, you must go with the lad, and I '11 return 
to your father. You cannot serve him better than by going 
to his friends, and interesting them in his case." 

" He said you might go, if I found you," said Frank Hoo- 
per, " and told me to instruct you what to say to the people 
at "Wilmington. He wished, several times, that I might meet 
■with you. I have a purse of gold, sir, and if " 

" Whom do you take me for,, boy ?" interrupted Walter, 
sternly " You belong to the fine people, and, like them, 
think, if you cannot command^ you can bribe. I am not a 



136 adveStukes of 

slave, Hot the son of one; and I do not serrS from feair, 
. nor for money." 

" You '11 serve for love, though, tron't yoii V asked the 
boy, approaching Walter with the frank and tender manner 
of a child. 

" Perhaps so," replied Walter; 

" Then I '11 love yon all my life, if you '11 go "with mfe," 
said the student. " I 'H love you, and all those that like me 
shall, and Will treat you as they treat me." 

" So you think now, while you are a child and in danger/' 
returned Walter. "Mr. Coon," continued he, "go back 
immediately to New Berne —let no one but father know that 
you have seen me, and teU no one but him what I have told 
you. You must be cautious and wise, and tell father to be 
so : let him know where I am, give him my love, and tell 
him that I will reap a rich harvest of vengeancfe for this 
indignity which has been put upon him." 

" God Almighty bless you, my boy," replied Zip : " here's 
iny hand, and my everlasting friendship ! Amd here 's the 
same to you, my pretty boy !" 

" Take care of ghcJgtS," said Walter, laughing. 

" Come Master Frank, let me >moun.t you behind uncle 
Job." 

" I 've become cold," answered Frank, " and had rsther 
walk with you." 

" I 'm fleet of toot," replied Walter^ " and it will be impos- 
sible for you to keep up with me." 

" I walk a great deal^ too," said the student ; '' and I am 
willing to try a match with you for a while at least." 

'' As you will," answered Walter ; " but you musi; not blame 
me if you are troubled, with sore limbs to-morrow. Come^ 
uucle Job, lead the way." 

Coon was now nearly out of sight on his way to New Berne; 
but for some time afterwards, Walter Tucker and Frank 
Hooper could, hear hie stentorian voice loud waging, through 
the woods. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 1.37 




CHAPTEE XXVIII. 

UISIOBICAL AKP QEOGKAPniCAI.. — WALTER TUCKEB AND FHANK HOOFEB, TYPES 

OP TWO CLASSES. — otopia's ACCOMPLISHMEHTS. 

NY person who looks upon the map of 
North Carolina, will find that Wilming- 
ton is in a south-westerly direction from 
New Berne, and about eighty miles 
distant ; but it must be known that 
in North Carolina roads do not run 
straight from one place to another. 
The barriers of Nature, not yet over- 
come, have caused the State to be divided into a number of 
distinct communities, and these communities difier as widely 
from each other in manners, habits, and feelings, as do the 
inhabitants of Florida aad Nova Scotia. In the west, the 
mountains, the grandest and highest in the Union, divide 
neighbourhoods as far from each other as are Charleston and 
New York; and in the east are rivers that spread out into 
shallow seas, and immense swamps that are yet the abodes 
of savage beasti, and of equally savage men. 

Different races, too, have peopled these comparatively 
obscure regions ; New Englanders and Virginians, with many 
aristocratic and some noble English families, founded the 
settlements on the Cape Fear Eiver and Albermarle Sound j 
the Baron de Grafienreidt, of Berne, in Switzerland, was the 
founder of New Berne on the Neuse Eiver, and near the 
head of Pamlico Sound ; Highlanders who "were out in '45," 
or vvere related to those who were, formed a settlement at 
Cross Creek, now Fayetteville, in the southern part of the 
State ; the Moravians, a peculiar religious sect from Germany, 

settled a colony in the central part of the State ; and in the 
18 



TS8 ADVENTURES OF 

west were emigrants and adventurers from different places. 
.These races, or settlements, separated from each other by 
the barriers to which we have alluded, long preserved their 
distinct national chai acteristics ; and in adjoining counties 
might be found people speaking different languages, and 
differing widely in religion, dress, and modes of living. About 
the frontiers of these settlements were adventurers from all 
nations, religious fanatics, desperadoes and robbers ; in the 
swamps were runaway slayeS and fugitives froiil justice; iflaHe 
the sounds and rivers along the coast were infested by buc- 
caneers, some of whom were of high descent, lived in splen- 
dour while on land^ and braved and bribed the public authori- 
ties. In such a country, the authority of the mother couatry, 
always feeble, was virtually at an end before tW revolution 
h-ad properly commenced ; and in various sectiKHS there Were 
meetings and formal declarations of independentfe similar to 
that of Mecklenberg, and prior in point of time to that 
national on* of the faurth ot July, ltT6. The people, grow- 
ing up in, the woodsj were essentially free thinkers ; and 
many of them, unfortunately, were at all times free actors. 
The celebrated insurrection of the Regulators, ia I77I, was 
an indication of the spirit of the people before the Revolution ; 
they were all Regulators j aad some of them, partly from 
causes mentioned, and partly from the unsettled state of 
things, regulated themselves according to their own notions^ 
submitting to no law but that of their own will. Curing 
the period of which we now write, the whole State or Pro- 
vince was in commotion ; the elements of revolution were 
everywhere at work ; and though they were all approximating 
towards one grand result^ yet these elements, ivL different 
places and among different races, assumed different aspects 
and operated in different ways. 

Suchwas the condition of things at the time Frank Hooper, 
accompanied by Walter Tucker and, an old servant, under- 
took a journey from New Berne to Wilmington ; and these 
two youths, between whom a warm friendship began to grow, 
were types of two of the races of which we have been writing. 
In one we find the stern, sad, philosophical pleteian, educated 



OLD DAN TUCKEl?. 13^ 

it is tr«e, and of fine sensibilities and vaulting ambition ; bmt 
a tenant af the woods, a follower of tiie chase, and taught by 
nature. AcoiKtoiHsied to meditation and a solitary life, his 
thoughts were slightly dnged with gioomj 'his «entenc^ 
were ibrigf, seajatentious, and ftill -of imagery borrowed from 
die wild splifcades o'er which ihe roamed ; and, though gentle 
in nature aad nat .uncouth in manners, his polish and ihds 
gesntleness were those of a ycwuag and fearless son of Nimrod. 
This was the Regulator ; and with him was a seion -of one 
,of iiose noble houses who early espoused liie cause of free- 
dom JBi Nontih Ciwolima. The name of Hooper is iilustrioiOiS 
in (the annals of the State ; and the men who bor-e it, like 
•many of -thsB^ compeers, had everything to lose aad pothing 
to gain by a revolution. They lived in splendoui" not sur- 
pasised in any f)i^t of the American colonies : they were 
educated, refinied, and surroumded by all the luKuries and 
dieganfties ,of life, a»d, though ,of aristocratic blood, respected 
fey the people, Trank Hooper had, for one of his age, read 
much, and thought much, too ; but, though a lover of free- 
-jdom, and deeply imbued with the philosophy «f the times, 
his air and feearisag, his dress and language, were altogether 
■different from itib-ose of his companion. His loose velvet 
pafttalpans were gatheued tightly iround a slender waist, and 
wer.e -ApiOt -too Jq^g to hide a .deilicate ankle, and still more 
^ieOiioatp fsiiot, :!^sed m. jnorocco shoes, wiftih shining silver 
^MjickleS' H& blue jerkin was fringed with lace ; ruffles, 
white as sinow, adorned his wrists, and his wide, open collar 
•Was of the fiaeat cambric linen. His cap, which was adorned 
with tassels and a seadet band, was pulled low •over his head 
[and cheeks, ito protect them it&m the dews of ithe night, and 
Was carefully fastened under *he i«iiin with -illets of velvet-; 
but it did not <canc^ entirely a face extremely fair, and eyes 
(that isparkled with irabdlligence and sensibility. Wafeer, it is 
-truejWOire a green huntimg-shirtof fine material, and fastened 
round -the w«ast by a broad belt of polished 'leatJierj but 
his feet and ankles were in red mocassins, and his Cap, 
though becoming, and indeed picturesque, was not of doth, 
but of the unduessed «fei« of live wild racoon. At -first, Aere- 



140 ADVENTURES OF 

fore, he felt somewhat ashamed of his own costume, especially 
as young Hooper would compel him to view him as a friend : 
he was often glancing at his own dress and that of his com- 
panion, while the other never seemed to take the slightest 
notice of any hut his own habiliments. He was, too, so 
gentle in his manner, and so frank in his conversation — so 
full of harmless wit and entertaining gossip — that Walter 
became, insensibly, lively and confidential, often giving 
utterance to sallies and sentiments that caused his friend to 
stretch his eyes with wonder. The subject of greatest interest 
to both were the intrigues and characters of the intriguers 
about the Governor's court. Concerning these Walter had 
many questions to ask, and Frank Hooper was ever ready 
to answer. 

" But the strangest person I have yet seen," said Hooper, 
in the course of the conversation, " is your friend, Utopia." 

" Why do you call her my friend ?" asked Walter, quickly. 
^'We have been thrown together by accident, and I felt 
bound " 

" Make no apologies," replied Frank Hooper. " Her 
acquaintance, I assure you, wiU not disgrace any one. As 
1 have told you, my connexions enabled me to be a great 
deal about the palace, and throughout the whole household 
that little girl has been, for weeks, the chief subject of con- 
versation. I say, little girl ; but she cannot now be called 
exactly a girl, though it would, perhaps, be equally improper 
to say she is a woman. I am told that, a few months ago, 
she seemed much smaller and more girlish than she is now : 
in fact, it is astonishing how she has grown since I first saw 
her ; though, perhaps, a change of dress may be one cause 
of the difi"erence in her appearance." 

" How has she changed her dress ?" asked Walter. 

" Your father and Miss Alice Bladen have bought her a 
fine wardrobe," said Hooper ; " and it is surprising to see 
how gracefully a rustic like her wears her neat dresses, and 
how discreetly she conducts herself. Her mind, too, they say, 
has improved amazingly." 

"Has she learned to write yet?" asked Walter. 



OLD BAN TUCKER. 141 

" Learned to write !" exclaimed Hooper ; " why she is 
BOW taking lessons in drawing and music. Knowledge of 
books and sciences seems to come to her by intuition ; and in 
six months she will be a lady, and the most intelligent one 
in all the country. No, I'm wrong in saying she'll be a 
lady ; it don't seem natural to call her so." 

" You fine folks, I suppose, think no one is a lady or 
gentleman that is not high born," said Walter. 

" That's not what I mean," replied Hooper ; " I mean that 
Utopia is too good to be called a lady. The word lady sug- 
gests notions of a mere finely-dressed woman, with a woman's 
whims, vanities, and frailties j Utopia is not such. And 
-would you believe me ? She spends all her nights in jail 
"with her mother ; yes, she comes out of that horrid place 
looking as innocent, as cheerful, and as sweet as if she were 
risen from a bed of down, in a royal palace. She carries her 
purity and her goodness everywhere; and she is the same 
Utopia in jail, in a hovel, in the woods, and in the fine houses 
of the rich and gay." 

"Truly," said "Walter, "you are eloquent in her praises; 
but this is because she is a sort of curiosity in New Berne. 
It will be fashionable with the fine people there to pet her 
for awhile, just as they would a monkey from Africaj or a 
parrot from the Indies ; but their monkeys and parrots will 
retain their popularity longer than Utopia. I see that Miss 
Bladen has a great fancy for her ; it will not last long, as 
the poor girl wUl find to her sorrow." 

" You never lose an opportunity of being severe on Miss 
Bladen," said Frank, laughing; "you must have a spite 
against her." 

" I harbour no spite against women," returned Walter. 

" Then you dislike her ?" said Frank. 

" I do not like her ways," replied Walter. 

" Did she ever ofiend you ?" asked Frank, kindly. 

" No matter," said Walter ; " perhaps I have already said 
too much." 

"Very well," replied Frank, pettishly; "if you do not choose 
to trust me with your secrets I have no right to complain." 



148 ADVENTUB'ES OF " 




GHAP'TEE XXIX. 

BOYISH CONVERSATION,. -^LOVB TROUBLES. — STEANGE COMPANIOKS. — AN OLD 
ACQUAIlWAlfCB IS A NEW -GraSE. 

UA.NK Hooper, the ,stvident, thougjh. top 
pr,0;iid tp ;g.cinpwle4g-g it, b,eg4P. before 
the dawn of iuapriaijig .to UMijiifeist .symp.- 
loms of fafcig'Ue 5 still he stoutly xeifused 
tp take % ,seat with J<>h pn the hora^ 
At las;t he flppifes.sied th^t be would iike 
;tP ride, bi*t deplajTied his .djslike pf being 
seen behi-^d the ojii Jiegrp ; and finally^ 
that all parties might he «iount^, it was a,greied to bor^roWj 
hire, or purchase a gig, and harness Job's iti}im*\l to it. 
Morning came, but Frank forWftd it ajp ;^^y matter to get a 
vehicle to suit his .purpose- The first iiouse at which h? 
inquired was a rude log hut, in a .snaj^U piatch of qleaje(J. 
ground, and surrounded by a wide wa&te ,pf sand; th? waU 
of the hut was cpv.ered outside with the skins of squirrels^ 
racoons, and wild cats, ajid inside were jfpund a womaft 
and sojine half a dozen nearly naked chiidjreo, aU of » 
sickly, ashy hue, and one of them, a girl of son?* thirtesji, 
sitting in the sun shivering with an ague. The -gpod woman 
hardly knew what agig was, but pipfFejed her cart 5 audi* 
answer tp a question about the health of the neighbourhood 
remaiked, that they had very little sicvkftess in those parts, 
though she had heard it said there wag a gP0,d deal higher 
up on the river. 

" There's an instance of the benevalence of Proyidemoe," 
said the studg-Pit, as they left th^ hut on the sandy desert ; 
" the human system will adapt itself to any condition of life, 
and become comparatively happy in it. I alipacst believe 
that there is no difference iij the happiness of different r3fl.l«js." 



OLD BASt •rUCKKR. 143 

" I do not," said Walter ; " are you not tired ?" continued 
he : " well, would you not be more happy if you were in a 
gig ? Just so I Would be, if I were elevated to that circle 
in which I ought to move." 

" It is well enough to propose to ourselves some worthy 
aim," replied the student; "and the higher our aim the 
better we shall be. This is the reason why, in my opinion, 
Utopia will be so perfect ; her heart is naturally good^ and 
she was born and bred in a S'tate of society where she had no 
human examples to copy. The instincts of her nature tell 
her that those are depraved people among whom she lives, 
OT has lived ; 6bS, therefore, will shuB whatever they do, and 
copy some exalted modet she has formed in her pure imagi- 
nation. Girls born irt good society do not always try to be 
better ; they ar* Satisfied when they come up to the usual 
standard, and will, without GSWipunction, practise follies- that 
are canonised by custom. You have, I understand, had an 
Opportunity of knowing Utopia intimately ; and if Miss 
Bladen speaks the truth of her^ you must h^ave witnessed a 
delie-aey and propriety in all her conduct, a serenity of 
teKrper, and a purity and sweetness of sentiment, which 
women do not often find in eaeh other, nor husbands in their 
wives. Still, j&U imagine that the higher ranks are better 
and more refined ? — you wiU be sadly disappointed when you 
marry among them." 

'* Who told you I wanted to marry among them ?" asked 
Walter. " You must think I am in love with Alice Bladen," 

" I think she has made an impression of some sort on your 
mifrd," answered the student ; " you axe constantly alluding 
to her." 

" And you," replied Walter, " are eternally harping on 
Utopia. I see how it is ; you love Miss Alice, and you want 
to keep' me from suspecting you." 

" / love Miss Alice Bladen !" cried the student, bursting 
into a merry laugh /• " what strange suspicions get into your 
head ! Pray tell me why you think so, and I'U tell you 
with equal caiidour whether or not I do love the English 
beauty," 



144 ADVENTURES OF 

" You seem to know her very well," said Walter. 

« Well, so I do." 

" You say, also," continued Walter, " that you are very 
intimate at the palace." 

" True, again," exclaimed the student ; " now, how does 
it follow that I am in love with Alice Bladen ? You know 
Utopia very well, and you once lived in the same house with 
her^— " 

" I do not love Utopia," said Walter, dryly. 

" And I am not a suitor or lover of Alice Bladen," said 
the student, pettishly. 

" I never tell stories about. these things," returned Walter. 

" Nor do I," answered the student. 

" Some people try so much to make everything a joke, 
that you never know what they mean," spoke Walter, and 
began to whistle a melancholy air. 

" And some cannot bear to be joked about such things 
without getting into a furious rage," said the student, who 
answered Walter's tune with a very lively song. Walter 
turned to his companion, whose voice began to charm him, 
and extending his hand, said, " Master Frank, I am a fool ; 
you must forgive the oddities of a country bumpkin." 

"You're a strange compound," replied the student, "but 
I like you all the better for it. I'm eccentric myself j but 
I make it a rule not to look cross at a near friend, nor to 
use harsh language towards him: these things cut more 
deeply than we are aware." 

" And that's the case with your words now," said Walter, 
" but the reproof is wholesome. But, telL me, how can you, 
on such a short acquaintance, profess to be a near friend to 



me 



?" 



" Haven't you bought my friendship at a heavy price ?" 
asked the student. " Besides, I have often heard of you, and 
I find you such as you were described." 

" I'm an awkward hand at kind professions," said Walter j 
"but. Master Frank, yow '// never find me wanting in action." 

The truth is, Walter Tucker, who had never before con- 
versed with an equal of his OM-n age, was from the first, and 



OLD DAN TUCKEE. 145 

despite his strong dislike of the aristocracy, greatly taken with 
Frank Hooper. The latter, from his size, seemed to be 
several years his junior ; but Walter soon discovered in him 
traces of a thinking, well-educated mind. Then the youth 
was so full of charming vivacity, so delicate, so gentle in 
manner, and so refined in feeling, so perfectly well-bred, and 
yet so wayward, frank, and simple, that Walter was entirely 
fascinated with him ; and when he seemed to throw himself 
on Walter's protection, and to claim the assistance of his 
superior strength and activity, the latter felt proud of his 
privilege. Indeed, he often gazed at his slender companion 
with a serious, thoughtful countenance, and could the latter 
then have read his heart, he would have found him wishing 
that he had just such an one for his little brother. Walter 
could not keep this wish out of his mind, and he was 
about to give utterance to it, when they found themselves 
suddenly in view of a human habitation. The sun was 
now some distance above the horizon, and while both the 
friends were hungry, the younger was nearly exhausted 
by fatigue, and, therefore, though the house was a gloomy- 
looking one, they determined to try the hospitality of its 
tenants. The building was long, low, and dark-looking, with 
a rotten porch in front ; in the small windows was not a pane 
of glass, nor was there any barn, kitchen, or other outhouse 
attached. The house stood close by the edge of a wide, 
shallow, stream, whose waters were of a pitchy colour, and 
was in a dark grove of pines, and near a wide and sombre- 
looking pond, filled with a luxuriant growth of black gum 
and cypress. There was no bridge across the stream; and 
as the student looked wistfully at his thin shoes and fine silk 
stockings, Walter proffered to take him on his back. The 
student, however, resisted, declaring that his feet were hot 
and blistered, and would be the better for a cold bath ; and 
so, doffing his shoes and hose, Walter the while gazing ad- 
miringly at his small and snow-white feet, he plunged into 
the stream. Walter, who could not but wonder why the 
youth seemed so difiident of showing his feet, took him 
gently by the hand, and led him across; but hardly had 
19 



146 ADVENTURES OF 

they touched the bank when the youth began to tremble 
violently. "Walter feared he had been chilled; but the 
student, doubtless, felt uneasy as he approached the house 
before him, and from which were now issuing oaths, songs, 
and boisterous laughter, commingled together. With the 
assistance of the old negro, he dried his feet and dressed 
them, while Walter reconnoitered the premises ; the latter, 
after an observation, hastily whispered to his prot^g^, and 
advised him to mount with the old negro, and leave as 
expeditiously as possible, while he made further note of what 
was going on within. The student would not listen to such 
a proposition, but urged Walter to leave with him; but 
Walter was too fond of wild adventures to heed such counsel, 
" If you will go in with me," whispered he to the student, 
" take care of your letters — perhaps you had better give 
them to me." 

" They are in my stocking," said the youth. 
" Good I" replied Walter, tapping him gently on the chin ; 
" I'll make a soldier of you yet. Halloo there ! Who's 
within ?" cried he, rattling at the door. 

" You seem very anxious to know," said one, partially 
opening the door ; " one, two, three," continued he, " and 
oi}ly one armed — all right, come in ;" and with this he flung 
open the door, revealing some eight or ten fierce-looking 
men, with swarthy faces, and sitting round rude tables, by 
a blazing log fire, near which was a stack of arms. There 
Was a jug and glasses on each table, a pack of cards, and 
several pistols ; and strewn about the room, on broken stools 
and crazy tables, were the remains of a feast. A number of 
fox-hounds were stretching themselves on the floor, and at 
the end of the hall farthest from the fire were several small 
and very dirty-looking beds. 

It took Walter but an instant to make an accurate survey 
of the whole room, and of all its contents animate and inani- 
mate ; but the student manifested his curiosity more openly, 
and for a longer time, some of the inmates staring at him in 
silence, and others listlessly packing the cards on the table, 
or draining the contents of their glasses. 



nWE "* Mm. D <» 







WALTER TUCKER AT THE SWAMP INN. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 147 

" "We are hungry, gentlemen," said Walter ; ''cold, fatigued, 
and hungry ; can we rest ourselves a short time, and procure 
a little plain refreshments ?" 

" You can rest yourselves, of course," said one of those 
handling the cards, and without taking his eyes off the table ; 
" but as for vittles," continued he, slowly and carelessly, " I 
guess you'll find them dry pickin'." 

" Young man, won't you have a seat ?" said one of those 
standing, at the same time jerking the stool from under one 
of his companions : " sit down, sir, and I'll see what can be 
got for you." 

" I am willing," spoke the student, who at that instant was 
nudged by Walter, while the latter said : " You can see who 
we are. One is a negro, one is a runaway school-boy, and 
the other a hunter from a child ; any sort of fare will, there- 
fore, do for us." 

" I'm willing," said Hooper, quickly catching the cue, 
" I'm willing, for my part, to take a piece of bread and meat." 

" And if you wasn't willin' you could n't get no more," 
spoke one of the men, laughing ; " you 're a runaway school- 
boy, eh ? However, we 'U. let you feed first, and then we '11 
try you. Come, lads, here's some refreshments in these jugs 
that '11 soon make you think you 've been flyin' instead of 
walkin'. Come, you must drink some," continued he, forcing 
the glass to the mouth of the student; "take a sip, honey, 
and if it don't make you natrally crave for more, you need 'nt 
drink any more. Halloo, old sinner !" shouted he to the 
negro, who was still sitting on his horse at the door ; " why 
don't you 'light, and come in ?" 

" Thank you, master," answered he ; " my horse is mon- 
strous scary, and won't stand when I'm gone." 

" He's a very sorry-looking crittur to be so wild," replied 
the white, examining the horse's head and mouth. He's 
monstrous little, but he's loud," returned the negro, bursting 
into a great laugh. 

" I'll see that he don't run away," said the other, pulling 
at the negro ; " hitch him to the door, old man, and you can 
keep your eye on him." 



148 ADVENTXJKES OF 

As the negro came in, Frank Hooper in vain kept his eyes 
on his wrinkled face ; the old slave never looked towards 
him, while the latter was wondering, with no easy feeling, 
what had become of his valise. 

" Give us a toast, old man," said one of the company, 
winking at the others, and handing the white-headed Job 
a brimming glass : " Give us a patriotic sentiment." 

" Gentlemen masters," answered the old man, bowing 
lowly, with his hat in one hand and his glass in the other ; 
" gentlemen masters, I 'se an old nigger, and has seed a heap 
of scatterments, and topsey turvies : here 's hoping dat you all 
may swim smoofly along the briny waves of sacrificin' time, 
and ford the Jordan of destructive equinoxes, while fiery 
billows roll beneath !" 

"Whoorah!" cried one of the men, closely eyeing old 
Job as he drank his liquor at a gulp : " where did you get 
all that from, old patriarch ?" 

" WTiar !" cried the negro, gazing at his questioner with 
a drunken and stupid stare ; " whar did I git all dat from? 
Jest show me the bottom of another glass, and, by golly ! 1 11 
make a more obfuscated catalogue nor dat !" 

" So I think ;" said Walter, slapping him on the shoulder 
and taking the glass from his hand ; " you old fool ! take 
your station in that corner, and behave yourself." 

" Oh, in course," answered the negro, bowing lowly and 
hiccoughing ; " I'll do just adzactly as you say, master John," 
and he flung himself against the chimney jamb, and in five 
minutes was snoring furiously. While Walter and Frank 
were making a hasty meal, one of the inmates of the house, 
lounging up to one of the beds, began to kick it, exclaiming, 
" Bones ! Bones ! eh. Bones, you snorin' bison, get up 
here — I say, do you hear me, you bag o' rocks ?" 

" Eh," yawned a man, half awake ; " is it you, your 
celestial highness ?" 

"No!" cried the man, "it's me, you infernal squat! I 
say there, git up, we want you right away." 

" Away, eh ?" yawned the man ; " is there robbers on 
the road ! Umph !" cried he, as he received a violent 



OI,D DAN TUCKER. 149 

kick, "what's the matter, what's the matter? Are we 
attacked ?" 

All this while Walter and the student were eyeing the 
bed J and the latter, young and inexperienced as he was, 
could scarcely conceal the emotions with which be was agi- 
tated, as he beheld, emerging from under the dingy bed- 
clothes, a grisly head, and a face covered with a huge and 
portentous beard. 

Slowly he gathered himself up in bed, gaped, and straight- 
ening himself, jumped on the floor, while Walter, with a 
start, discovered in the bony apparition the veritable and 
unmistakable Dr. Ribs. 

" Well," said the latter, rubbing his eyes, " this is a nice 
dress for a court gentleman to be in! What would the 
Queen — I mean her imperial highness the Queen's sister — 
think if she saw her beloved de Riboso in this court suit, 
covered over with straw and moss ? I say. Jack, Jim, or 
whoever else is landlord of this distillery," continued he, 
stroking his whiskers, " have you got a mirror ? Hah ! the 
Little Pocosin, as I live !- Here, where's my sword, pistols ?" 

" I'm not on a hostile mission," said Walter, advancing ; 
" how do you do. Dr. Ribs.''' 

This being considered a sally, was applauded, when the 
doctor, with a frown, cried, " Base-born son of the swamps, 
call me not Doctor, nor that other infernal name !" 

Walter's eyes flashed, and he felt for his dagger, when 
Hooper caught his arm, whispering, " He's beneath your con- 
tempt ; for my sake let him alone." 

" I will," said Walter, aloud. 

"■ You will what, swamp Jack? — feelfor my — eh — ^my heart, 
eh? Attempt it if thou darest! Know, boy, presumptive 
boy, that I have been made a Spanish Amazon, and should not 
be surprised if her ecclesiastical highness has me appointed a 
full Armada ! Yes, tremble, thou pale face," he continued, 
pointing his finger at Hooper, who was standing behind 
Walter, and shaking violently ; " tremble, smooth-chin, and 
pufi' out your jaws, you can't look fierce enough to alarm 
T. McDonald de Riboso, the accepted lover of her royal 



150 ADVENTURES OF 

highness' donna, or I should say, prima donna, Carolina 
Susannah Matilda, sister to the Queen, and heir apparent to 
the throne of Great Britain ;" and with this he performed 
several new ballet steps on the floor, to the imminent peril 
of his own shins and of those about him. "Yes, Great 
Britain ; I love thee still, though oceans roll between us ! 
The integrity of the empire shall be preserved, and not a 
hair of its head injured ; George the Third will be my brother, 
and I his fortification of defence in this rebellious land. 
Varlet," turning to Walter, "what brought thee hither? 
Who is that lad with thee, and who is this old ebony," said 
he, shaking the unconscious Job out of his slumbers. 

" Murder ! murder ! fire !" cried Job. 

" Silence, coward !" continued the Doctor, still shaking 
him ; " who are you all ?" 

" I'm Uncle Job," answered the negro, quickly. " I'm 
Uncle Job , and dese are — let me see — dis is young master 
Hooper, who's been to school in New Berne, and I'm takin' 
him home, cause as how his mother's very sick. Dis todder 
gentleman is Mr. Tucker's son — " 

" I know him very well," interrupted the Doctor : " you 
are your own uncle, are you ? who was your father ?" 

" Old master Adam," answered Job. 

" Nonsense, man !" exclaimed one of the men, pettishly ; 
" tell us at once who these lads are," said the most intelligent 
looking of the revellers. " Cease your rant, and tell us, if 
you know the youth, who he is, where he is from, and what 
is his present business ?" 

" Will you let me speak a word with you in private ?" 
asked Hooper of Doctor Ribs ; " I'm not armed, sir," con- 
tinued he, smiling. 

" Oh, pshaw !" cried Ribs, " I care nothing for that — 
I'd walk with you if you were armed like a knight," con- 
tinued he ; " but mind, we must not go out of view. Come 
here to the end of the saloon, and sit on this couch. Heavens, 
how sweet his breath smells — I know you are from the 
court," continued he; " yes, you look and smell like the very 
rose-bud of the court." 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 151 

" Do you know Rowton, Chester Eowton ?" asked Hooper. 

" I have the honour of being his particular friend," answered 
Ribs ; when I marry her highness, I'll make him a knight." 

" He sent a message by me to you ; he told me, if I saw you, 
at just such a place as this, to slip these ten gold pieces into 
your hand for your fidelity, and to request you to speed me 
on my course. You must not let these men see your money, 
or they '11 make you divide." 

" Never mind me," spoke Ribs ; " I'm close and honour- 
able. And you say," spoke he, in a louder tone, and rising 
from the bed, "you say. Master Cooper — I forget your 
name — you say Colonel Rowton wished me to hurry you on 
as fast as possible ?'' 

" He did," answered Hooper, " and I'll tell you what I 
want ; I started with only Uncle Job and that horse, and 
overtook Walter Tucker a few miles from town. He's des- 
perately in love with Miss Alice Bladen, an inmate of the 
palace, and you may judge what sort of understanding exists 
between him and his Excellency, who wants brave and pru- 
dent officers." 

" I see into it all," said Ribs. 

" / don't though," thought Walter, in whose cheeks the 
red blood seemed as if it would burst through the skin. But 
he tried in vain to catch Hooper's eye ; and the latter, to his 
great amazement, continued : " this youth has tendered his 
services to go with me ; but we 've walked tiU we are broken 
down, and we wish to get a gig, to which we can harness 
our single horse, letting Uncle Job ride behind." 

" A capital idea !" cried Ribs j "ahdI'U tell you where 
you can get a gig just such as you want. About five miles 
from here is a great camp meeting now going on — it is right 
on the road to Kingston,* and there you wiU find every sort 
of conveyance." 

* Kingston is a little town in Lenoir County, on the Nense Eirer. It was in 
the time of the Revolution infested with tories ; and since the Kevolution, the 
republican sentiments of the people induced them to change the name. Accord- 
ingly, the G was struck out, and to this day the town is called Kinston; a 
name which puzzles the traveller not a little. 

TTie Camp Meeting. It is not intended to cast ridicule on the proceedings of 



153 ADVENTUEES OF 

" Shall we meet some of our secret friends at Kingston ?" 
asked the student. 

" Abundance of them ; and, by the way, I must give you 
something to them, for fear you might need their aid. I say, 
John, have you paper, ink, and sand here ?" 

" Here's paper and a pencil," spoke Hooper, offering them. 

"Never mind," returned Ribs, "I'll send some more 
honorable and knightly token. Confound it, that dear witch, 
her highness, has got all my rings ; however, by the powers, 
I'll send a lock of my whiskers, the very thing — they all 
know them. Cut them, boy, and don't spoil them." 

" That would be a sin," answered the student ; " there is a 
great deal of gossip about them in the palace." 

"I suspected that, lad — you're a sweet boy, and would 
do for my page. What do they say of me ?" 

" A great deal that is fine ; and it is said her highness 
sighs very much when she misses you ; won't you go with 
us to Edenton, or at least to the camp meeting ?" 

" To Edenton !" thought Walter, with indignation ; " I'm 
over-reached — and by this boy !" 

" Bless your soul, I must hurry back to my fond lady love ; 
come," (Walter breathed more freely) " and as for these 
men, a camp meeting is the last place they wish to be seen 
at." (Walter felt still better.) 

" Very good, we'll go alone ; and as we are in a great hurry, 
we'll dispense with ceremony. Come, Mr. Tucker, let's be off; 
adieu, de Eiboso — adieu, kind sirs, we feel grateful to you 
all." Walter was still less ceremonious, heeding no one's 
remarks ; and the two friends started off, when Dr. Ribs, 
running after them, cried : " One word. Master Hooper ; did 
they speak of the colour of my whiskers ?" 

" They did," replied Frank j " adieu again !" 

" Bonos noctes !" cried Ribs ; " that's a sweet boy," con- 
tinued he, as he returned into the house. 

any denomination of Christians ; the object is simply to give a faithful picture 
of the characters and manners of the times. Those who thinlc that religious 
revivals or excitements are here introduced at a period too early, are referred 
for an interesting account of a singular sect of religious fanatics, to Wm. Husatt's 
uccouut of che Hise and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and Georgia. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 15S 




CONFTDEKTIAI. DlSCtOSUKES. — WOUNDED VANITY AND INCIPIENT LOVE, — 
SmJDKN DISAPPEAEANCE OF UNCLE JOB. — THE CAMP MEETING. 

RANK Hooper, you are my brother 
for life," said "Walter Tucker, as the 
two young friends left Swamp Lodge^ 
the name by which the house was 
known where they had breakfasted. 
" You are smarter than I am," he con- 
tinued, " for my poor wit never would 
have got off so safely." 
" I thought you very smart at such things," answered the 
student J " such at least is your reputation." 

" You were mistaken," returned Walter ; " you have mis- 
understood me. I am fond of tracking wild beasts, and of 
watching the stratagems of an enemy ; I like adventures 
and aU that sort of thing, but I have not a cunning tongue. 
I am a rough-hewn rustic ; you are a diplomatist." 

" In other words," said the student, laughing, " you are a 
soldier, wise, quick, and strategetic; I'm a lawyer, ready 
only with my tongue. Is that the distinction you mean ? " 
" You do yourself too much injustice," said Walter ; 
" but tell me, what put it into your head to say I was in love 
tnth Alice Bladen?" 

" And are you not ?" asked Frank. 
- " I, a poor, friendless, awkward child of the forest, in love 
with such a fine lady ! " 

" Why not ?" asked Frank; " you say you aspire to move 
in such society as she moves in : besidesi the romance of 

the thing would be delicious ! She's very romantic, I know, 
20 



154: ADVENTURES OF 

and if it would not get you into trouble, I almost wish yoa 
did love her." 

" It would get me into trouble, though," said Walter ; 
" and that you may see it would, I'll tell you some things, 
in confidence, and you must never breathe them to a living 
soul. Do you promise ?" 

" I am so curious about such things, that I will promise 
all you ask," replied the student ; " but it is dangerous to 
make many confidants, I hint this to you because you have 
not seen as many intrigues about court as I have ; a lover, 
a politician, or a suitor, at court, is generally ruined when 
he places himself in the hands of confidants." 

" That I believe," said "Walter ; " but I tell you I will 
make no confidant but you." 

" Will you promise me never to make any other but me 
in this matter?" asked Frank. 

" Certainly I will, and I'll be as good as my word." 

" Then you shall find me a true and faithful confidant," 
said Frank ; " I'll talk of your secrets to no one but you, 
and I'll take a great interest in them too." 

" I expect you to act precisely as you say," replied Walter; 
"and now I'll tell you of the whole intercourse between 
Alice and myself." 

And so he did, and in very few words ; and when he finished 
there was a pause in the conversation for several minutes. 

" Do you really hate her as an enemy," at last asked the 
student. 

" I told you once, women are not my enemies," answered 
Walter. 

" Then why treat her so V 

" Because she treated me badly." 

"But why did you not laugh it ofi'? You say you intend 
to do something great, and that when you are distinguished 
and honoured you will approach her ; will you do this to 
mortify her ? If so, you regard her as an enemy." 

" I thought her a very sweet lady once," said Walter, " and 
I would have been willing to have died for her ; but she 
scorned me." 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 155 

" And then you hated her 1" 

" No ; then I resolved to be what I always thought about." 

" And that is to get knighted, is it ?" 

" Pshaw ! pshaw !" exclaimed Walter — " you don't com- 
prehend my thoughts at all, Frank. I've had visions, boy ; 
visions when wide awake. When I was smaller than you, I 
used to puzzle father by asking him questions about govern- 
ment J I could not understand why whole nations of men 
should bow themselves down before one man, and call him 
sire, master, gracious majesty, and all that, as if he had come 
down from the sun or moon. I wanted to be equal to the 
highest ; but as father said, and I knew, I would have to 
rise by getting favour at court, I determined to live a free 
man in the woods. I never could kneel to man, even to be 
knighted. I never could pronounce those words I have 
quoted. I thought a great deal about these things ; my nature 
revolted at the whole system of civilised government as 
ridiculous and degrading ; it all looked like child's play 
to me. I could not understand it. The Indians, or the savages 
as we call them, seemed to me to act more like men, and I 
became very anxious to go among them. Father watched 
my feelings closely ; and fearing I might turn savage, he 
undertook to get me in business. I knew nothing in the 
world about trade — I hated trade, traders, and pedlers ; and 
father knew this. To try me awhile, and give me a little 
insight into business, where no one that he or I cared about 
could laugh at me, he placed me with old Ricketts on the 
beach. I was to take a few lessons there, and then he in- 
tended to carry me to some town. That arrangement was 
knocked in the head — and so will that Indian one of my own, 
1 think. There will be — there mtist be a revolution — the 
king can reign no longer here. I must take a part in this 
fight — it will be a glorious struggle ! I have always wished 
to be engaged in such stirring scenes — and when it is for 
liberty ! I tell you, I can hardly hold myself!" 

'' It is a generous impulse, and thousands of noble hearts 
share it with you," said Hooper ; " I almost wish I was in 
a condition to be a soldier myself." 



156 ADVENTURES OF 

" You are too young and tender," answered "Walter. " You 
must stay at home, and when I'm marching through, swamps, 
or careering in battle, I'll think of you, my little brother, and 
of how I'll entertain you with accounts of my adventures. 
But you'll forget me — there '11 be nobody to reniember me 
but my lonely father." 

" I'll never forget you, "Walter, indeed I won't," said th? 
student, tenderly : " I'll always take the liveliest interest in 
your welfare ; and, in proof of my friendship I beg you to 
accept this token," saying which the student took from his 
pocket-book a beautiful and costly ring, and put it on the 
little finger of "Walter's left hand. " "Wear that in memory 
of me, and whenever you are in distress enclose it to me, to 
the care of Cornelius Harnett, and you shall promptly find 
what my promises are worth." 

"Is your father dead?" asked "Walter, feastin,g his eyes 
on the gem that glittered on his finger. 

" He is," answered the student ; " and, by the way, Miss 
Bladen is going to Mr. Harnett's, where I'll not fail to speak 
a good word for you." 

" "When is she going ?" inquired "Walter ; " I thought she 
was captivated with New Berne.'' 

" Not she^rshe longs to get away, hut they say the Governor 
has forbid her going, and she is now in honourable imprison- 
ment." 

"Walter stopped. " Did you say, he is confined ?" asked he. 

" It was said she and th^ Governor had high words, and that 
a strict watch was put on her, and that Rowtbn was at the 
bottom of it." 

" Frank," said "Walter— r-" could not you and Uncle Job 
now go alone the rest of the journey J" 

" Mercy on us !" cried t;he student, " where is Uncle Job ?" 

That was a question neither could answer ; both had for- 
gotten him, and neither recollected to have seen him since 
they started. The student was greatly agitated, indeed was 
almost ready to cry ; but he would not listen to "Walter's 
proposition tp return. He was in a dreadful strait, feeling 
that he was responsible for the negro's safety ; and then the 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 157 

loss of his clothes added to his grief, and caused him such 
distress of mind that "Walter's heart was sensibly touched. 
He readily agreed to do as his young friend wished ; and 
this was to hurry on to the camp meeting, and there endeavour 
to get some men to return on horseback with them. So they 
hurried on, each blaming himself for his carelessness, until 
they began to hear in the distance a confused sound of many 
voices blended into a melancholy sort of wail or chant. They 
instantly stopped to listen, but could not decide whether it 
was a song, or moan, or shout ; sometimes it seemed to be 
one, and sometimes another, and sometimes all together as it 
swelled and died fitfully on the breeze. The face of the 
student grew a little pale, but "Walter took him kindly by 
the hand, and hurried him on, the noise becoming louder and 
more mysterious ; and very soon they were able to distinguish 
voices, though even "Walter was totally at a loss to make out 
what kind of cries they uttered. The sound now became a 
roar — the roar of a great multitude; now sounding like the 
shouts of a victorious army, now like the waU. of the wounded 
on a vast and bloody field ; while ever and anon the tumult 
would be lost in the notes of a triumphal song that swelled 
rich and harmonious above the cries and groans of the furious 
combatants. Louder, more fearful, more awe^-inspiring be- 
came the uproar of, as it seemed, ten thousand human voices ; 
some groaning piteously, some, as it seemed, sweeping on- 
ward, with, a terrible about, and others, heard high above 
the general din and clatter, urging on the combatants with 
lungs of brass, and hurling, in tones of thunder, defiance at 
their foes. And yet not a gun was heard, nor the clash of 
a sword ; the woods were still around, and not even a rider- 
less horse came rushing from the dreadful iray. 

To both the young men it seemed S:trange and solemn, and 
they almost held their breaths as they journied on ; and 
soon sights, stranger still than the sounds that they had heard, 
began to attract their attention. At first they observed an 
occasional straggler wandering through the woods ; then they 
began to pass groups of both sexes, some chatting and laugh- 
ing loudly and gaily, some surrounding persons who looked 



158 ' ADVENTURES OF 

sick and ghastly, and were uttering feeble cries, and some 
sitting in the woods quietly eating and drinking. These 
groups became more numerous at every step, while occa- 
sionally they would pass a woman with her bonnet oiF and 
her hair streaming in the wind, hurrying from place to place, 
clapping her hands, shouting, crying, and laughing by turns ; 
sometimes they would meet a man led off by his friends, 
uttering as he went subdued moans, and falling from side to 
side against his supporters, as if he had lost the use of his 
members, and often they would see others, stretched by them- 
selves beneath a tree, rolling over and writhing their bodies 
with convulsive twists and contortions, pulling their hair 
and flourishing their hands like maniacs. At last they came 
in view of a vast multitude^ who were seated in the woods 
on seats made of rough boards or logs of wood, while in their 
midst, on an elevated platform, with a back of common planks, 
and a covering made of the tender branches of pine and oak, 
sat a row of grave and venerable-looking men, one of whom 
was just rising to dismiss the people for " intermission," as it 
was called, as Walter and Frank came in view. These latter, 
knowing from the vast number of white tents and little cabins 
scattered through the woods, that they were at the camp 
meeting alluded to by Doctor Eibs, and not caring, from 
what they saw, to remain long, addressed every respectable 
looking man they met on the subject of their wants. They 
were recommended to go from one to another ; and thinking 
their best chance among the cabins and tents, they directed 
their course accordingly. About these latter there was quite 
a cheerful appearance ; fires were burning, pots and dishes 
rattling, hens cackling, and all those other cheerful sounds 
indicating the approach of dinner. As good luck would have 
it, the two boys found an open hospitality at the first place 
they visited ; their story was listened to with some in terest, and 
they found themselves guests at the first table, at the head of 
which sat a venerable minister. This latter, simple-hearted 
and unsuspicious, at once offered his gig, and ordered it to 
be got ready, saying that he would not want it for a week at 
least ; and the young friends, with a feeling they had long 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. 159 

been strangers to, discussed the good things before them in 
a manner that seemed to please their attentive hostess. They 
had not yet finished, when a trumpet sounded from the pulpit 
or platform we have described, and quickly there set in to- 
wards it, hundreds of streams of human beings. The benches 
were soon all filled, and still the crowd pressed in, and soon 
a vast area was covered with one compact mass of human 
beings, some sitting, some lying and kneeling, and some 
standing, some crying as they came up, some laughing gaily, 
and some even making a mockery of what was going on. 
Our young travellers, impatient to be off, were mortified at 
rinding the parson's orders neglected ; and as that gentleman's 
horse and gig were at a house some half a mile off, they 
thought it useless to go for them themselves, without an 
order from him. When they applied for it, he said — " My 
young friends, tarry with us a day or so, and it may do you 
good. There is just now a great outpouring." 

" But," interrupted Walter, " our servant may be mur- 
dered. We must return for him, and then maybe we'U stop 
a day or so." 

" You speak well," said the old man ; " here is the order, 
if you find any one at home, and if not, take the horse and 

gig- 
After giving them particular directions, the old man dis- 
missed them with his blessing, and the young friends, with 
cheerful spirits, hurried off to get the gig, intending first to 
secure that and then look for a few attendants. 

When they returned with the horse and gig, one of the 
reverend gentlemen in the pulpit was holding forth in a 
manner that had fixed the attention of the whole of his 
crowded auditory. He was a low, thick man, with a short 
neck, a full face, and a pair of fierce grey eyes | but he had 
a voice like thunder, and was never at a loss for words ; nor 
were his words without effect. There was soon a low, tremu- 
lous moaning sound heard among the crowd : it grew louder 
and louder as he advanced, and when Walter and Frank 
approached there was a loud wailing, swelling from the midst 
of the agitated mass, the confused symphony of commingled 



160 ADVENTURES OV 

groans rising a key-note higher at every terrible sentence 
uttered by the preacher. He now lashed himself into a fury ; 
he flung himself backwards and forwards, and stamped with 
his feet upon the board before him until even the outsiders 
began to tremble, the stragglers in the woods paused to listen, 
and the gay watering parties came hurrying in. 



CHAPTEE XXXI. 




CSOLE JOB IN HIS GUPS.^WHICH IS THE DUPE ?— DE. EIB8 PEErOEMS AH 
EQBESTKIAU FEAT WHICH 18 AHTTHINO BDT SATIBFACTOBT TO HIMSELF, 
ABD TEET AMirSIKG TO UNCLE JOB. 

NCLE Job, it wiU be recollected, made 
a plain manifestation at Swamp Lodge 
of his stupidity and his fondness for 
ardent spirits. These traits were not 
unobserved by his entertainers and by 
Dv. Ribs; the former resolving to probe 
the old negro for farther information} 
and the latter for plunder. Accord- 
ingly, as Walter and !Frank left, a sign 
was made to J ,h, which he well understood j and making a 
feint of leaving with his young masters, he gradually fell 
back, and then hastily returned to the lodge where a brim^ 
ming glass awaited him. 

" Now, for another toast, old friend," said one of his se- 
ducers : " give us a smasher." 

" Ke-heah-heah-hak !" laughed, or rather bellowed uncle 
Job ; " anoder toast, masters ? Let me look at ye — good," 
and he held up his glass,, turning it round, and eyeing it with 
reverence ; " he's sweet and sour, cold and hot — ^hot, hot. 
Whuh ! how he's eyes shine. Well, here's to de old dog 
what treed de raccoon, de raccoon what bit de fox, de fox 
he caught de mink, de mink he stole de chicken — cuckoo ! 
Whuh !" Saying which, with extreme rapidity, and with a 
sort of chant, he swallowed his whiskey, smacked his lips, 
and began a rigmarole which greatly tickled his auditors. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 



161 



" Come, old man," said one of them at length, " here, take 
another drink— now tell, don't you know something about 
these patriots — eh ? Don't be afraid ; we'll protect you ; and 
besides, nobody shall know what you tell us." 

" I does know something," said the old negro. 

" Very good, now's your time to make something by your 
knowledge." 

" I may sit down, I s'pose ? "Wall," continued he, sitting 
with his hands on his knees, and speaking low and seriously, 
the dark tenants of the lodge squatting close around him, 
" you all knows de little Pocosin, down on de Trent, jist 
dis side of Master Hasel's big field — wall, todder night I 
was hunting de raccoon in dat swamp by my lone self, only 
Bose and Driver, my dogs, was wid me — we hunted, and 
hunted, and hunted, — 'booh!' says Bose, arter a while. 
' Sick him, pup !' says I — ' boo-oo-o !' says Driver. ' Sick 
him, pup !' says I again. ' Boo-oo, booh, booh, boo, oo-oo !' 
says bofe togedder, purty brisk. ' Find him out, my pup- 
pies !' says I. ' Boo-oo, booh, booh, boo-oo-o, booh, booh, 
booh!' cried bofe, monstrous fast and quick — 'hold on to 
him, darlins, hold him fast !' I hollered, thinking they had 
treed a coon, and off I went through de mud : gosh, how it 
flew ! I flew, too, and by and by, Bose and Driver barkin' 
like mad, I run up to an open, dry place, and bless a nigger, 
Masses !" exclaimed he, raising his hands, and stretching his 
eyes ; " gosh, Masses, what you reckon I seed ? A great 
big patriot half as big as my hoss, a sittin' back dar on his 
hind legs, wid his forepaws reared up, and a grinnin' 
and growlin', sayin', ' Come on, my darky, if you want a 
wrastle.' " 

" Why 1" exclaimed the crowd, " you old fool, that was a 
bear 1" 

" To be sure he was, Masses," said the negro in a firm voice ; 
" and aint dem what you call patriots in high larnin' ?" 

" Let him off, let him off," said the crowd ; and old Job, 
wondering why his story took so badly, took another glass 
and prepared to leave. 

" Massa," said he to Eibs, " come, gib me up my bundle. 
21 



162 ADVENTURES OF 

I seed you when you picked it up from behind dat log, where 
I hid 'm. Come, Massa." 

" Give it to him, give it to him, and let the old fool off," 
cried several. 

" Well, here it is," said the Doctor, praducing the valise ; 
" come, old fellow, I'll help you on." 

"However, old hoy," continued he, "I must try your 
horse — if he's a good one, I'll give you a trade. Mine's in 
the shed at the back of the house here. Hold on here, till 
I pace him a little and try his mettle." 

" Oh, no, no, no," cried the negro, seizing the bridle, while 
the Doctor mounted ; " no, no, massa Doctor, I can't let go 
my crittur." 

The Doctor, who had kindly intended to take only the 
horse, now resolved to have horse and baggage both, and to 
drop the negro far in the swamp below. 

" Well, if you can't trust me, get up behind me," said the 
Doctor ; and old Job, after some hesitation and blubbering, 
obeyed. " I'll carry the bundle," continued the Doctor, and 
to this Job also assented. When mounted, the horse, to the 
infinite amusement of the bystanders, began to kick up be- 
hind, and to turn round in the most ludicrous manner imagi- 
nable. Old Job, greatly alarmed, only increased the diffi- 
culties by pressing his legs under the horse's flanks, and 
hugging the Doctor tightly in his arms. Ribs, no ways loth 
to show his gallantry and his horsemanship, became also fond 
of the sport ; and for some time he and the old negro were 
carried through a variety of evolutions, no less fatiguing to 
them than to the horse. At last the animal trotted off, and 
the Doctor rode him up and down the road, the tenants of 
the lodge still enjoying the fun ; and as the hats of both 
riders were off, and there was such a disparity between the 
length of their legs, and such a difference in the colour of 
their bushy heads and bearded faces, they did present a show 
picturesq^ue as well as entertaining. At length the Doctor 
winking at his companions, struck up the road to Kingston, 
at a brisk canter, the negro bellowing in vain for his hat, as 
the horse's speed increased. The horse, now hot and chafing, 



^ii.ii,,,Jii;;l(illlu|ll|^^ i!' 



1 1./// // 



I t 

I 



ii 









' s. 



■■,M. 







'*¥':> «?-K 








VHCLK JOB CARRYING OFF DR, RIBS. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 163 

Still kept increasing Ms speed, and soon he was in a furious 
gallop, the Doctor and old Job both screaaubg ia ooncert, 
while the fiery animal sped like an arrow beyond the Tiew 
of the lookers-on behimd. " Wo, wo, wo ! — oh, I'm lost !" 
screamed the Doctor, at the top of his yoiee, letting go the 
bridle in. his fright, jerking his feet out of the stirrups, and 
endeaTouiing to fling himself off. In vain he flonirished his 
arms and legs — in vain he screamed at the horse and at Job : 
the latter now held the reins, and held, too, his wyithiug 
viotiai with the grip of a vice. On, on they sped, like the 
wind — over creeks and fwnds, ditches and bridges. Trees 
and houses flashed but an instant in the Doctor's view — spec- 
tators and passers-by saw them with wonder and amazement 
but a moment, and the dreadful apparition vanished like a 
shadow. When they passed any one, old Job, as well as the 
Doctor, screamed for help; but this did not deceive the latter, 
who now flrmly believed himself in the hands of the Evil 
One. On they went — ^the ride of John Gilpin was nothing 
to theirs — the whole country was alarmed, and even brutes 
ran frightened from the road. 

It was just as Walter Tucker and Frank Hooper were 
returning to the camp ground with their gig and horse, and 
as the preacher for the day was fulminating at the zenith of 
his powers, that this frightful apparition came in view. 

"Woe, woe, to you, lost sinners !" exclaimed %e preacher; 
" wo, wo, wo," was answered back, and the speaker paused. 
"Wo, wo, wo, oh, ohi" swelled louder and more terribly 
through tile affuightedeongregation ; they rose simultaa«o(usly, 
and the preacher shouted, " Lo, he cometh, he cometh like 
a roaring lion -seeking whom he may devour ! Oh, God, 
deliver us ! — let us pray." But it was too late for prayers ; 
the furious riders were now in the skirts of theeamp, causing 
the most awful consternation. Women fainted, men clung 
by their elders and preachers, children screamed, and all ran 
to and fro, wailing and wringing their hands ; many fell 
swooning and were trampled on by others, who made for the 
woods as fast as their heels could carry them. " Wo, wo, 
Vo !*' and the terrible riders swept through the camp, an4 



164 



ADVENTURES OF 



in an instant vanished, leaving the multitude in speechless 
awe, to speculate upon their character and mission. As for 
"Walter Tucker and Frank Hooper, they saw at a glance, and 
with unmixed delight, though with no little amazement, that 
Kibs had been taken captive by the venerable-seeming Job ; 
and without waiting to make an explanation to any one, they 
dashed after at the full speed of the parson's horse. Their 
absence was some time afterwards observed ; and it was a 
subject of thankfulness with the whole crowd, that only these 
two graceless youths had been carried off by the great enemy 
of man who that day appeared among them. The parson 
thought he might have spared his horse and gig — but on the 
whole, he was happy to have escaped on any terms. 



CHAPTEK XXXII. 

TBI! CHASE.— PERILS BT THE WAT. — DB. KIBS FAIRLY CARRIED CAPTIVE IHTO 
THE EHEMt'S QUARTERS. — RECEPTION OP THE YOUNG ADVENTURERS BY COL. 
ASHE. — WALTER CONSIDERS HIMSELP SLIGHTED. — A METAMORPHOSIS. 



HEN Walter and his friend Frank left 
the camp ground, they were in sight of 
the flying Job and his terrified captive » 
but these latter were mounted, while 
their pursuers were on wheels, and 
could not consequently put their horse 
to his utmost speed. Still the parson's 
animal showed that he must have come 
in for a share of his master's popularity ; 
he was mettlesome, and sure of foot, while the lads behind him, 
full of life, fun and frolic, were no timid drivers. Walter 
held the reins and Frank applied the whip, and off they shot, 
exhilarated by the rapid motion and delighted with the chase ; 
while just before them was the white head of old Job, glit- 
tering in the sunbeams, in strong contrast with the sandy 
locks of the Doctor. It was amusing, too, to witness the 




OLD DAN TUCKEK. 165 

position in which, each rider sat ; the venerable Job looked 
like a man of steel, sitting straight and firm in his seat, while 
the half demented doctor seemed as if he would fall to pieces, 
his long, bony legs jerked out, his head thrown forwards and 
falling from side to side, and his arms dangling about as if 
loosely hung to a lifeless corse. 

Thus they dashed onward, the Doctor still hoarsely bellow- 
ing for aid, and old Job uttering an occasional howl or scream 
that startled every tenant of the woods ; while Walter, catch- 
ing the wild enthusiasm of the strange being before him, 
added to the terrors of every beholder, by uttering at fre- 
quent intervals the wild war-whoop of the Indian. Wagons, 
carts, gigs, and carriages, that were met or overtaken, were 
suddenly upset, their horses taking fright, and dashing off 
through the woods ; loot passengers fled in terror, some in 
their confusion climbing trees with the nimbleness of squirrels; 
travellers turned back affrighted, and thus sometimes there 
would be a long cavalcade, all charging furiously down the 
road, and these, in their turn, turning others back and help- 
ing to increase the confusion and to spread far and wide the 
panic. Thus, the terrible £lack Rider, as he was afterwards 
called, passed unquestioned by any one ; gradually, too, he 
gained on his pursuers, until, at a sudden turn of the 
road, he passed out of view. They were now in the county 
of Duplin ; the sun was far down among the trees, and the 
young men found themselves at a river, the name of which 
they did not know, but which turned out to be the Northeast 
Fork of the Cape Fear. Their road passed right across, but 
they did not know the depth or direction of the ford ; and 
while they hesitated what to do, they were hailed by a voice 
down the stream, and turning, saw old Job beckoning to 
them to follow. The negro had abated his speed, and as 
there was a sort of road along the banks of the stream, the 
young men followed, though they were not allowed to come 
within speaking distance of the fugitive and his captive. 
Presently the sun went down ; but old Job, at a brisk gait, 
still held on his course, which was now on a " blind road," 
through a dark and heavy wood ; and this forest still con- 

\ 



166 ADVENTURES OF 

tinued until the moon rose, and was in fact far up in the 
heavens. They then came on what seemed an impenetrable 
swump ; ami there Job was seen to tafce the striaage precaution 
of bandaging the eyes of the semi-animate Ribs. Considering 
the time, the events of the day, and the black and dismal- 
looking scene before them, this act of Job's created some 
strange feelings even in Walter and. his companion; and 
when the old negro beckoned to them to be silent and to 
follow, Frank at least felt something like a shudder come over 
him. The negro pointed towards the swamp ; but his fol- 
lowers strained their eyes in vain for a passage, even the 
slightest aperture, or thread of dry ground into the dark 
abyss whither they tended. StiU tivey saw old Job had entered, 
for he disappeared from their view ; and when they arrived, 
they found he had taken a creek, and that they must also 
follow it. The student now began to shiver in earnest j but 
Walter spoke kindly and cheerily to him, and being now sole 
driver, plunged fearlessly into the waiter. At the first plunge 
the horse was up to his flanks in water, and it even reached 
to the foot-board of the gig ; still Walter drove on, though 
expecting every moment to find himself afloat. The course 
af this stream was so extremely crooked that the party im the 
gig were seldom in sight of Job and his companion ; but the 
old megro now guided them by his voice, while the groans of 
the Doctor also served to distinguish their position. The 
stream was of one umiform depth, and barely wide enough 
for a gig to pass in it; but as stated, it was extremely crooked, 
and, as Walter began to think, without beigianimg or end. 
Hours on hours they remained in it, untO. finally it lost itself 
in a broader one, straight across which old Job, to the great 
joy of his followers, was seen to pass. They ascended from 
the water upon a dry, sloping ridge, and this again terminated 
in a high, rocky, and precipitous bluff. There was here the 
roar of a waterfall, and there were, too, huge cedars and mighty 
oaks, covered with pendant moss ; but Walter and his com- 
panions had little time to speculate on the scenery around 
them. In answer to a shrill whistle from the negro, light 
came glancing from out the jutting rocks; and the next 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 167 

moment the young men were ushered through a low, narrow 
door in the rock, as it seemed to them, into a handsome 
chamber, well, but not luxuriously furnished, and warmed 
with a cheerful fire. In a few minutes more, to the great 
Surprise of both, and recognised by both, Cornelius Harnett 
made his appearance ; he kindly welcomed the young men 
to Eock Castle, and the next instant was in the midst of a 
letter handed him by Frank Hooper. Having read it, he 
looked still more kindly at the carrier ; and then, in a most 
playful and afiiectionate manner, made many inquiries of the 
student in regard to his adventures on the road. 

" Our accommodations are but rough here," he said, " for we 
have but one servant, and he has just returned with the 
strangest bag of game I have ever seen. You must know, 
Mr. Tucker," continued he, raising his voice, " that this is a 
place which my friend Colonel Ashe has fitted up for retirement 
and study. In other words, we anticipate troublous times j 
the Colonel especially (who is an impetuous man), has set 
his house in order for a civil war; and this in the last 
emergency is to be his fastness. The jutting rock that hangs 
over us on the west shields the place from the view of those 
beyond the river, which river is the north branch of our 
brave old Cape Feax. On all the other sides of us is a swamp, 
which it is impossible even for a footman to penetrate; indeed, 
could he make his way through the briars, bamboos, canes, 
gall-berries, and vines that are woven into a sohd net-work, 
he would be swallowed up iu the miry depths of the oozy 
and spongy soil beneath. The creek, which the uninitiated 
would never thiBik of following, is the only road through the 
swamp ; and that creek, joined by a larger one, tumbles down 
a precipice into the river just above us. In the morning, 
however, you and Frank can gratify your curiosity to the 
fullest ; at present we will find you something to eat, and a 
bed for this poor boy, who looks- not a little worn by his 
travels." 

So saying the speaker left the room, and soon after returned 
with Colonel Ashe, the latter of whom apologised briefly for 
his late appearance to do the honours of his house, and again 



168 ADVENTURES OP 

retired. In a short time he returned, bringing in coffee, 
biscuitj and cold meats ; and when the young people had suifi- 
ciently refreshed themselves, Frank Hooper was conducted 
to the only vacant bed in the house, while Walter was re- 
quested to keep himself awake, as they wished to talk with 
him further before the morning. 

His cheek flushed as he saw that he was not treated as the 
equal of Frank Hooper ; and his proud heart swelled and 
throbbed against his bosom as if determined to force its way 
from its prison, and confound its enemies with a view of its 
bleeding sensibilities. In vain did Mr. Harnett use his most 
soothing language; in vain did Colonel Ashe profess his esteem 
and friendship, and beg the young hunter to become one of 
his military family. 

His entertainers apologised for their conduct by assuring 
"Walter that they had but one bed to spare, and that was a 
single one, and the one which Mr. Harnett had occupied ; 
that Ashe had none, and that the two intended to lie on 
blankets before the fire. They found it impossible to put 
their strange guest into a pleasant humour ; he stoutly refused 
all sleeping accommodations, and they, tired of his whims, 
recommended themselves to sleep. 

" May I be cursed, if ever I sleep upon the bed or break 
the bread of a house where I'm regarded as an inferior," 
said the young hero to himself as he noiselessly opened the 
door and walked out, for what purpose he hardly knew, 
except that of escaping from the roof of one of those aristo- 
crats whom he so much disliked. 

The night air was cool and cutting ; and yet the youth 
would have trusted himself in it had he not met an acquaint- 
ance, who was as anxious to see Walter as Walter was to see 
him. This was no other than the venerable Job, whose locks 
had suddenly grown wonderfully black, and who appeared 
to have lost at least one half his years ; and as he had con- 
ceived an admiration for Walter, he was delighted when that 
youth readily consented to accompany him to his humble 
quarters. There he had a rousing fire, and something besides, 
to warm the heart : and there he and Walter sat gossiping 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. 169 

till the gray peep of da-wn. The latter gathered from him 
his own and his master's history ; and now for the first time 
knew what Job, or rather Peter (which was his real name) 
had been doing in New Berne. His master, as the reader 
will recollect, had been rudely banished from the court ; and 
being of a fiery, impetuous nature, he had resolved instantly 
to prepare for arms. The leading patriots all over the coun- 
try had become thoroughly convinced that a long and bloody 
civil war was inevitable ; and they had been making their 
calculations accordingly, and cautiously watching the pro- 
gress of events. As for Colonel Ashe, he was one of those 
bold, John Adams sort of men, who was for bringing on and 
meeting the crisis at once ; and hence his conduct to the 
Governor, and his immediate flight to his residence on the 
Cape Fear. Among the people of that region, his own im- 
mediate neighbours, he went as a fire-brand, passionately 
exhorting the common people, arguing with the leaders, and 
preparing himself for the coming struggle. Old Peter was 
his faithful friend, companion and confidant ; and he had 
been sent disguised by him on an important mission to the 
patriots of New Berne. It was by these, who knew his 
fidelity and his discretion, that the boy Frank Hooper had 
been committed to his care ; the result the reader already 
knows. He now informed Walter that Dr. ilibs was safely 
lodged, and was to be questioned in the morning ; and it was 
with unfeigned sorrow that he heard of the young hunter's 
determination not to tarry at the castle till the rising of the 
sun. The latter procured, by means of his companion, pen, 
ink and paper ; and with these he prepared two letters, one 
to Mr. Harnett, giving him a full account of the plans of 
Rowton and the Governor, and one to his friend Frank 
Hooper. In the latter he was brief, but more than usually 
tender ; he thanked the lad for his kindness, declared his 
own friendship, and his regret at parting. " But," continued 
he, " if we would be friends we must part without another 
meeting — -we should not meet, in fact, as we met in the wild 
woods before. You are among your people now, your proud, 
aristocratic people ; they look on me as not your equal, and 
22 



170 ADVENTURES OF 

SO too might you. I'll remember you, dear Frank — 'in my 
rambles and wanderings, I'll remember you, and wish you 
were my little brother ; and won't you sometimes bestow a 
Icind thought on — Walter ?" 

Walter was now ready to leaye, having deposited in the 
letter to Harnett a small sum for Colonel Ashe^ for his sup- 
per, and carefully sealed it up ; and having dried his mocas- 
sins, prepared his quiver, and tried the priming of his pistols. 
In Vain the negro begged, perstiaded, threatened, and even 
cried ; the young hunter sternly demanded to be shown 
across the I'iver, and finally started alone with the determi- 
nation of fording it. Of course Job could not consent to this ; 
and so he led the little Pocosin to a Canoe hid among the 
reeds and bushes by the river's edge, and in a few minutes 
landed his charge on the other side. Here he tried to force 
money and provisions on hirri ; but Walter would take nothing, 
briefly, but affectionately bidding farewell to the generous- 
hearted slave, and then fearlessly plunged into the dark 
forest of pines before him. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 



THE Cl.Vii. — DOCTOK mSS IN JEOPARDY. — MAKES A CLEAN EREAST.-'^COlfSTER • 
KATIOK OF THE REBELS. —"IHE CAPE FEAR REPUBLICANS" ORGANISED. 

HEN the morning came, great was the 
astonishment at Rock Castle, when it 
was found that Walter Tucker was 
gone. Greater still was the surprise 
caused by his lettet to Mr. Harnett, 
though the whole company burst into a 
loud laugh at the postscript ; a laugh 
in which Col. Ashe himself heartily 
joined, though it was at his expense. 
" 'J'he boy is worth his weight in gold," he said, " and 
freely do I forgive the cut dictated by a proud heart, smart- 
ing with a supposed indignity." 




OLD DAN TUCKEK. 



in 



" His soul is of the right stuff," spoke Harnett, " and I 
would not for a thousand pounds have wounded its sensibi- 
lities. I hope we shall yet meet him, and then he wiU be 
welcome as the «qual of the noblest of us all !" 

As for Fraiat Hooper, he retired to read his letter alone ; 
and as he ran his eyes over it, he burst into tears and even 
sobbed aloud. He became sad ajid taciturn, and kept his 
kept his chamber during the day; nor could even the 
appearance in public of Dr. Eibs draiw iiim from his 
retirement. 

The doctor, who had been well e.ared for during the night, 
was now to undergo an examination before a tribunal which, 
had he known its character, he alight well have dreaded. 
Many of the .leading gentlemen of Wilmington and the Cape 
Fear country were ilihen at Eook Castle, haviug been invited 
there by Col. Ashe, on a sort of country frolic ; and in those 
days, as well as now, man was not a growth that dwindled on 
the "Cape fear.* Here, at all times, have lived some of the 
brightest ornaments of the State ; and in the Revolution 
there were men there who would have been giants anywhere. 
Cornelius Harnett, wiio was one of the guests of Col. Ashe, out 
a distinguished figiure in the councils of North Carolina, during 



* From the earliest settlement of the State, the people of the Cape Fear have 
been remarkable for their liberality and pnbliC'spirit— for the feailal splendour uf 
the rich planters, and the elegance and refinement of society. These character- 
istics they j^ill rejl^in, ^p^ on tbe b^nks of tlip Cape Fear may be foand some of 
the fairest and the sweetest living blossoms that adorn and shed a fragiance over 
this cdld, bleak earth. Wilmington, the largest city on the river, is now a place 
of considerable trade. From Wilmington to its month, some twenty jniles, the 
river is vpry wide, Justifying its ancient appellation of "Brave-stream ;" and at 
ij5 mouth, on ^ stp^U peninsula, is Fprt Paawejl, formerly Fort Johnstpne, and 
one of the most .pleasant places for sea bathing in thp Union. T,he banks of the 
river up to FayettevlUe, one hundred miles above Wilmington, have been the 
scenep of many romances : and a volume of entertaining legends might be 
foii^nd^d on its still wUd and loni^ljy-looking jsho^s. It is proper to state, that 
Fiiyetteville isithe modern name of the Cross-Creek mentipped in the text ; the 
ancient name being derived from the supposed crossing of two creeks in the vi- 
cinity. These creeks meet at jight angles ; and it is asserted that even yet the 
waters sometimes cross. The descendants of liie loyal Highlanders mentioned ia 
the text ai'e among the best citizens of the Stale. 



173 ADVENTUEES OF 

the war of the Revolution. He was a gentleman of fortune and 
education, fitted by nature and study to shine in any society; 
and yet, fond of retirement, modest and unceremonious, he 
was not conspicuous, except in troublous times, and then 
he was the master-spirit. He may be said to have been the 
head of the patriot cause on the Cape Fear ; and associated 
with him as co-labourers, were the Ashes, the Hoopers, the 
Mc Rees, the Howes, the Quinces, Hills, Lillingtons, 
Moores, Waddells, Nixons, Maclaines, Swannes, Joneses, 
Walkers, Toomers, Blythes, Bloodworths, and a host of others 
whose names are still esteemed in North Carolina. Several 
of these persons were now with Ashe, at Rock Castle ; and 
it was before them in council that the strange adventurer 
from New Berne, or rather from the beach, had to appear. 
He had, as yet, seen none of his judges, as he supposed them 
to be ; but he had had long conversations with his captor, and 
from him had learned many terrible particulars of the men 
of Cape Fear. Old Peter had in this matter acted entirely 
on his own authority ; and he had, during the night, prac- 
tised extensively on the fears and credulity of poor Riboso. 
He related many surprising exploits of the patriots ; more 
than insinuated that they had marked the name of de Riboso 
with red ink, and would have found him in the farthest ends 
of the earth. The captive heard also of the relentless cruelty 
and severe justice of those who had, as be believed, sent spe- 
cial agents after him ; and at last he began to tremble in 
every joint, to cry and lament his unhappy destiny. Peter 
was moved both to pity and to laughter as his prisoner began 
a doleful soliloquy, one time apostrophising, in the most 
ludicrously tender terms, her I mperial Highness, the lady 
Susannah, to whom he conjured Peter to send a lock of his 
whiskers, in case of his being beheaded ; and at another, 
cursing Rowton, the Governor, and his sacred Majesty, 
George III. Peter at last volunteered to be his friend j 
promised to intercede for him, and declared his belief of being 
able to save the doctor's life on easy conditions. , The con- 
ditions were these, to wit : that the doctor should make a 
clean breast of all he knew concerning the secret movements 



OLD DAN TUCKEU. 173 

of the royalists, and also concerning the murder of old Rick- 
etts. The doctor promised a faithful compliance ; and it was 
stipulated that Peter was to stand by his side and touch him 
whenever he thought the prisoner had angered his judges, or 
was in imminent peril of his life. He was to be led out 
blindfolded, the object really being to prevent him from 
learning his way to Rock Castle ; but this object was con- 
cealed from him, while Peter, of course, gave a different and 
more alarming reason for the proceeding. The council was 
held in the woods ; and at the rising of the sun, Peter led 
out the captive, the latter stepping as if he walked on hot 
embers, and trembled so violently that Peter feared he would 
fall to pieces, Cornelius Harnett spoke as he advanced : 
" Your name, sir, I understand is " 

" T. McDonald de Riboso," answered the doctor. 

" Sirrah !" exclained Harnett, " we want no foolery 
here. What is your name, sir — the name your father gave 
you?" 

Peter nudged the doctor, and he replied : " I never had a 
father, excellent sir ; I was born a frontier wolf." 

" What name did your mother give you ?" 

" She called me, sir, she called me T." Peter nudged the 
Doctor, arid Harnett spoke sternly — 

" T. ? what does T. stand for I What's your Christian 
name, man ?" 

" I never was a Christian," returned Ribs ; " I never was 
a Christian, but I wiU be one, sir ; I'll join immediately, if 
you'll let me off." 

" Fool !" cried Ashe, losing aU. patience, " who are you, 
and where did you come from ?" 

Peter whispered in his ear, the Doctor shook violently and 
said, " Tim, sir, my name is Tim" — 

" Tim what?" asked Harnett. 

" Tim Ribs, sir j that is, sir, they nick-named me Ribs, but 
my real name was Tim, sir." 

" Very good, sir," said Harnett: " now, Mr. Timothy Ribs, 
we wish to question you a little concerning some important 
matters, and it wiU be well for you at once to tell the truth — 



174 ADVENTURES OF 

the whol-e truth, and nothing but the truth. Will you dp 
so ? — speak quickly/ 

Peter gave the Doctor a violent pinch, and he cried, " Yes^ 
I'll tell," with a choking voice, and began, as requested, -with 
the transactions on the beach, and told a dajrk tgle of crime, 
hypocrisy, and ambition. He jmravelkd the whole plan of 
the murder of old Eicketts, declaring that it was planned by 
Howton, and executed by him and his few confidants, he 
having in view a double object : to spirit away both Alice 
Bladen and Utapia, and to get at the great treasures which 
he supposed the deceased to possess. 

He declared also, that the same Rowton was in correspon- 
dence with a band of robbers all over the country ; and that 
these men, when the war broke out, under pretence of aiding 
the royal cause, were to rob and pluniJer the patriots, and to 
divide their gains with Rowton. He unfolded, too, the whole 
scheme of attack on the part of the governor and the r-oya,li6ts j 
and in this confirmed the statement of Walter Tucker and 
repeated what the reader already knows. The patriot chiefs 
who listened to the story were amazed at what they b<eard; 
and when the Doctor was withdrawn, they gazed at each 
other for a while in silence. 

" The country is lost," said one, at lengthy "there is no 
hope of escape. The Scotch, the .negroe's, and the tories all 
over the country wiU. be in arms, will drive us from our homes, 
murder our families and burn our villages ; and in the midst 
of these horrid scenes an English armament will appear in 
the Cape Fear to finish the work of destruction begun by 
their allies." 

"I think you are desponding," spoke Colonel Ashej "let 
us arm and prepare ; and for one, I'm ready to meet the 
storm." 

"Gentlemen," said Harnett, "the crisis is great, and it is 
now on us ; nothing but the Providence of God and the utmost 
wisdom, energy, and courage on our part can save us and our 
cause from utter and total shipwreck. Here, on the Cape 
Fear, the contest is to be decided'^ here, on this brave old 
stream, which we and our ancestors have loyed so much- 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 1T5 

And now, the first thing to be done is to see to our own 
household ; to try it and purify it. There must be a test 
oath; and every male inhabitant of the whole Cape Fear 
region must be required to take it and subscribe to it. There 
must be a committee of vigilance in every neighbourhood ; 
and every man's name must be recorded, and every man's 
motions watched. Our wives and our daughters, too, must 
be prepared to endure hardships and to encourage and assist 
the cause in every way that women can ; and the sentiments 
of our servants must be probed, while the first law of nature, 
the law of self-defence, will justify us in hanging instantly 
every rebellions slave." 

These sentiments met with general approbation ; and they 
were immediately embodied into- constitutions for associations, 
resolutions for public meetings, and instructions for committees 
and agents. 

A gentleman who had not hitherto spoken, now rose and 
said : " Mr. President and gentlemen, I have been, up to this 
time, a silent spectator of and participator in the interesting 
scenes that have, within the last ten hours, made this spot 
one that will hereafter be consecrated in the minds of the 
people^I propose to make it still more famous j I propose 
that we, who are the leaders and instigators of rebellion on 
the Cape Fear, here take a step, enter into a compact that 
will fix us irrevocably to the cause to which we are now 
inciting the people." 

" And how would you propose to do this. Colonel Lilling- 
ton ?" asked one. 

" I wo\dd suggest," said the Colonel modestly, " that we 
here form ourselves into a society, or club, to be called the 
Cake Fear Republicans." 

" The Cape Fear Republicans, Colonel Lillington ?" said 
one of the company. 

" Aye, sir," said the Colonel, warmly, " the Cape Fear 
Republicans. Here, sir, on this high hill that overlooks those 
fair plains below, the happiest, the best and dearest country on 
earth — that overlooks a proud old river, whose bosom bears 
the teeming products of a bounteous land, and of one where 



176 ADVENTURES OF 

the human heart puts forth its sweetest and its fairest bloom — 
here, in view of our fields and our homes, and beneath the 
shadow of these Druid oaks, in this fair temple of nature, 
where the foot of the tyrant has never been — I propose that, 
under the name of Cape Fear Republicans, we make a solemn 
dedication of ourselves and our fortunes to the sacred cause 
of liberty !" 

" Agreed," cried Colonel Ashe, rising ; " with all my heart 
and soul I enter into the proposition of Colonel Lilliugton ; 
and I farther move that this club continue its meetings and 
its labours until North Carolina is a sovereign State." 

" Say until America is a free and sovereign Republic," said 
Mr. Harnett — " until the hope of the philanthropist and the 
dream of the wise is fulfilled, until the glorious days of Greece 
are restored, and her institutions and her children, her arts 
and her literature, shall people these western wilds, whore it 
is more than poetry to say 

Time's notlest offipring is the last ! " 

The club was established — the solemn vow was made, and 
hands were clasped upon it — and it was farther agreed that 
each one should, before the anlversary of that day should roll 
round, strike some important and some memorable blow for 
liberty. A president, secretary, &c., were elected, and after 
the transaction of some farther business, the club adjourned. 



OLD DA^' TUCKER. 



177 



CHAPTEK XXXIV. 



"WALTEE EX'TERS NEW UEHNE IN A NEW CHAllACTER, AND FINDS A NEW CHAaAOTEB 
IN AN OLD ACQUAINT ANCB. 




ATE in the winter Walter Tucker found 
^% himself once more in the vicinity of New 
"^ Berne. What were his feelings it is 
needless to say; indeed, no one can 
de.scribe them. Tender he was by nature, 
full of affection and tender sensibilities 
— -and he was also generous, just, and 
brave. He had a heart formed by natui'e 
to love and confide; and his education 
had been such, that the object of his regard was an idol, at 
whose shrine he made no selfish offerings. He was born to 
love — and to love as men in the days of Saturn were wont 
to love, with a fervent devotion, a singleness of heart, and an 
entire forgetfulness of self. With such feelings did his na- 
ture yearn towards Alice Bladen — they were scorned and 
turned to bitterness. Still he had to love on, it was a part of 
his being — until he saw the boy Frank Hooper, and then he 
lavished the affections of his heart upon him. This some 
will call platonic affection, Walter knew no name for it, but 
he knew that the boy had twined himself about the tenderest 
chords of his heart, and had resolved that he would. 

Hating no one, love but hint. 

His proud heart would not permit him to form intimacies 
with those in his father's sphere of life ; nor would it permit 
him to desare. or accept the friendship of those who consi- 
dered themselves in any respect his superiors. His feeli&gs, his 
23 



178 ADTENTURES OF 

education, and his aspirations were above the rank in which 
he was born ; and thus he stood isolated, alone, without so- 
ciety, companions or associates. It seemed likely that he 
would pass through the world, a generous, refined and tender 
being, unloved and unloving, unknown and unknowing ; a 
link cut from the chain that binds his species togethe r, and 
all his gentle affections withering away within him. But he 
had found at last a friend, a companion and intimate, and one 
in every way worthy of him; his heart had found a prop on 
which to lean, and its tender foliage was again beginning to 
pat forth, in this the first spring time of his being. It had 
been always winter to him before ; but clouds and darkness 
and wmtry cold no longer reigned within his breast — he bi - 
came cheerful and conversational, and above all he became 
animated with a desire to shine with those accomplishinents 
which so graced his adopted brother. He therefore no 
longer dreaded to enter New Berne — its gay people and its 
poor people were nothing to him; he had a world of his own, 
and that world was Frank Hooper, and the thoughts, fancies, 
and feelings of which he was the cause. Such was Waltir 
Tucker when he entered New Berne for the second time; 
and this joyful mood was enhanced when, on going to the 
Carolina Inn, he there found his father. The old man and 
his friend Coon were amazed and delighted at meeting " their 
mutual son," as they called him ; they hugged him by turns, 
Zip, with the vigour of a bear, but Dan more tenderly, ai.d 
with a more yearning and lingering embrace. The trio were, 
for one night at least, as happy as mortals can well be ; at 
least Dan and his friend were, the latter of whom signalised 
his joy by getting tipsy, kicking over all the tables in the 
house, knocking down Monsieur Dufrong some half-adozeh 
times, and disturbing every one at the inn. 

Dan, from the interest which he had excited among the 
leading patriots, had been bailed out of prison ; and among 
his sureties was Bobert Bladen. What cause had induced 
the young Englishman to take this step was not known ; but 
Dan had his suspicions, and those he would not breathe to 
any one. 



OI,D DAN TUCKER. I'TQ 

That very night Bladen called on "Walter, and greeted him 
very cordially, and spoke in the most contemptuous manner 
of the governor. Of his sister he said nothing, not knowing, 
perhaps, that Walter felt interested in her fate ; and Walter, 
who never unbosomed himself, except to the student Hooper, 
made no inquiries [^concerning one whose name he longed to 
hear. 

Even his father, when they were alone together, made no 
mention of her ; in fact, the old man seemed to have forgotten 
everything except Utopia, the political controversies of the 
times, and his own difficulties. Walter at length ventured 
to ask for Alice, and in answer to his question, old Dan 
spoke rather evasively. " She's gone," he said, " froin here 
—some say she's hid in the town, and some^that Rowton has 
carried her off, and forcibly married her. My son, my son, 
sit down. I see it, I see it ! I suspected you loved that 
lady — don't say a word. I suspected, and now I know that 
you have been guilty of a foolish thing. She's beautiful, it's 
true — aye, and she's good, or was so — but haven't I told you 
that all women are alike ? Thy sainted mother was the only 
woman that ever lived, who was a woman as a woman ought 
to be. No, I'll except one — one who loves you." 

" Loves me," exclaimed Walter, " who can love me ? I 
know no woman but Alice " 

" You ought to be ashamed to say so," said Dan j " and 
yet she was not a woman when you left her. While all the 
others are stark mad after furreners, she likes only those she 
knows — and she will never like any other but you. Don't 
you remember Utopia, my child?" 

" Certainly I do," replied Walter, much confused. 

" You laugh," said the old man ; " well, well, if you despise 
her you'll sorely rue it some day, that's all. You'll never 
find her like out of heaven." 

" Indeed, I do not despise her," rejoined Walter. " I know 
how good and beautiful she is ; but, father, she is but a child, 
and I have regarded her only as my little sister." 

'• She's not a child, nor so small either," answered Dan. 
" She's old enough to love, and she does love. My son, sit 



180 ADVENTURES OP 

doTi^, and listen to me attentively. I've seen through this 
girl's heart — it's as transparent as that window, and as pure 
as the light of heaven. She has a soul, boy, an immortal soul 
—-there is no doubt in the wcnrld about it, although I do not 
know five other persons that have. She has a sonl, and its 
thoughts will grow brighter and brighter through all eternity ; 
and one of its eternal images is the picture which she has 
painted on it of you. No, Grod lias painted it there. As 
Milton said of Eve about Adam, she sees God through you, 
and you, in her eyes, are his image. You are her Adam — ■ 
sit still, and lieten — and if you were no more, thi« world 
would be to her like a paradise would have been to Eve 
without Adam. The angels may still whisper to her — she 
may still adore God, and see his great wark&. She will be 
mateless, solitary, alone, a stranger here ; thus she would be 
if you were to die. But if you were to love and marrj' 
another — God only knows what would happen ! Her heaxt 
would wither within her — ^her soul, disgusted with this world, 
would leave it. But oh, if you would but marry her ! if 
you would try the experiment, you'd not come under the 
curse] The angel that guards the gates of Eden, would 
let you pass with her, for she's allowed to enter ! Now, think 
«rfthis, my sonj ah, I see how it is ! I've thought on it a 
long time, and I've lately found it out ; the flaming, sword 
that keeps us out of paradise, is the devil who stands ia our 
hearts ! We would not go to heaven if we could j we would 
be miserable there with old Satan in our hearts. You pre- 
fer this worldly woman — you have set your heart upon her j 
and may be, when you find her, she may be the gay mistress 
of a villain she once hated ! Mind, boy, I do not say she is — 
she may.be run off, or hid, to avoid Kowton; but there ain't 
two women in the world who would not hate to-day and love 
to-morrow." 

That might was a troubled night to "Walter — who ean 
describe his thoughts^, as he lay meditating on his £a,thex'» 
words ? 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. 181 




CHAPTEE XXXV. 

OTOKA — ESCtlSrOE. — WHILE THE PtJRE BECOMES PUREtt FKOM HEB TfitAtS, 
Tttfc fEMPIER SA'-Lg. 

N the next morning aftar Walter's anival 
in New Berne, he was called on by 
another old acquaintance. He had 
retired to his- chamber after breakfast, to 
write a letter to his friend Frank Hooper ; 
and while he was thus engaged, Mons. 
Dufrong infcffined him that there was 
a lady in the parlour who wished to see 
him. 

The memorv of Alice Bladen flashed throagli his mind, 
and with a rather palpitating heart he hurried down the staijrSi 
" Have you forgot me, Mr. Tucker?" said a soft voice; and- 
tuming, he beheld close by him. the radialit faice of Utopia, 
For an instant he felt vexed and disappointed, but it was 
only for an instant : she who now stood by him was no longer 
the silemt, bashftil girl of the beachw Her gently rounded 
form showed that she was just budding into womanhood, and. 
that form, moulded by the plastic hands of nature only, was 
clad in a neat aztd dosely-fitting habit, that looked also as if 
it were part of the quiet being which it enveloped, so taste- 
ful, so natural did it seem. Her face was not a girl's face^ 
nioc was it a woman's, nor, as it seemed while "Walter gazed 
at it, was it that of a human being. It was not pale or 
bleached, or unusually white;, and yet there was a softness^ a 
transparency, an ethereal tint, a purity gleaming in it, that 
made it look as if it contained not the gross materials that 
make up ordinary beings ; and her eyes shone with a clear, 
soft, tender lustre, in which there was not a ray of passion 



182 ADVENTURES OF 

or of sensual feeling. And yet there was feeling beaming in 
those hazel eyes ; there was feeling in the tremulous touch 
of her small white hand, and feeling as well as melody in the 
subdued tones of her voice. She met Walter with a cordial 
greeting, a hectic glow burning in her cheek ; and she stood, 
too, permitting him to hold her hand, and meekly returned 
his glances. But her manner had become more timorous, 
though not more cold; and there was a sweet propriety^ 
a gentle dignity, a modest veiling of her thoughts, which 
struck Walter as much as did the improvement in her 
appearance. The longer he stayed in her company and the 
more he conversed with her the less did he feel at his ease ; 
and at last he was awkward and constrained, like one who 
feels the presence of a superior being. 

" Mother would like to see you very much," said Utopia in 
the course of the conversation — '•' that is," she continued, smil- 
ing, " if you are not afraid to visit her in her parlour." 

"Her parlour ! " exclaimed Walter, " where is that 1 Has 
she got a house ?" 

, " She receives company in the jail, " said the girl, laughing 
-T-a laugh that rung in Walter's ears like the subdued and 
softened sound of distant melody. 
. " I'll visit her," replied Walter, "as soon as I can ; in fact, 
I'll call this afternoon. But tell me, do you stay there ?" 

" I spend my nights and most of my days with mother," 
said the girl ; " I used to come out to take lessons, but now 
I can study very well by myself." * 

" What do you study ?" asked Walter. 

" I read part of my time, and part I spend in drawing," 
answered Utopia ; " there is some of my work. I don't show 
it because it is handsome or well done, but I brought it to 
remind you of old times. Do you see anything there you 
know ?" 

It was a history of which she spoke ; the history of her ac- 
quaintance with Walter, up to the time they parted at New 
Berne. This was executed in a series of spirited, life-like 
and beautiful sketches ; and there was not one in the book 
which Walter did not recognise the moment he saw it. There 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 183 

was a view of the beach, the naked, desolate beach, and 
of the ocean — of the old house of Ricketts, and indeed 
of every place which the girl had seen, and of every 
event which had happened to her, and in all of these 
the most prominent object was Walter himself. In return, 
she now modestly hinted that she would like to hear of 
Walter's late travels ; and he told them over, with perhaps 
more embellishments and a much greater relish than he was 
conscious of. Indeed, he felt more than ever a desire to be 
the hero of Utopia's fancy ; and he was but in the middle of 
his narrative when Robert Bladen, to his great mortification, 
made one of their party. The presence of this young man 
made Walter cut his story short ; and in fact, it seemed also 
to have an unpleasant effect on Utopia, for she now prepared 
to leave. 

" Well, Utopia, I've caught you at last," said Bladen, 
when Walter finished ; " I've caught you, my prude young 
Miss." 

" I don't know what you mean," said the girl, 

"I've caught you visiting your beau," replied Bladen, 
taking the cigar out of his mouth, and tapping the cheeks of 
Utopia. 

" Good morning, sir," said she, rising — "good morning, 
Mr. Tucker ; you must not forget to call and see mother." 

Walter Tucker now began to see what he had not ob- 
served#.before, that Robert Bladen had changed as much as 
Utopia. The cheeks and eyes of the young man bore plain 
indications of an attachment to strong drink ; he was dressed 
more gaudily, conducted himself more jauntily, and pufied 
his cigar in a more careless and listless manner. 

" I say. Tucker," he drawled forth as Utopia left, "she 's a 
devilish pretty girl, is n 't she ?" 

" I think she 's extremely handsome," said Walter ; " and 
that is not all, she is as good and pure as she is beautiful." 

" Chaste as an icicle," replied Bladen : " I know it, foi 
I've joked her occasionally. StUl, I believe she is virtuous, 
and will always remain so." 

" \7oc be to him who tempts her 1" exclaimed Walter as he 



184 APVENTUBES OF 

left the room, to shake off his companion. In the afternoon he 
visited the jail, and there it was that he was more than ever 
impressed with the worth and character of Utopia. Her 
mother 's room she had decorated until it did, in fact, resem- 
ble a paarlour ; and there, in that receptacle of the iniamous 
and the wicked, of thieves and ranrderers, sat Utopia dili- 
gently engaged with her drawings, and as happy, apparently, 
as if in the most sumptuous boudoir. The old woman was 
as glad to see Walter as if he had been her sonj indeed, he 
and her child Utopia were the only persons that shed a 
light on her desolate heart, or connected her with the hu- 
man fainily. She had for him a vast number of presents, 
the handiwork of herself and child ; and from their number, 
variety, and beauty, it seemed as if they had been engaged 
on them during the whole of their imprisonment. It was 
here, too, that Walter learned all the news of the town ; 
that Alice Bladen and the Lady Susannah had lately left it, 
and that the former, it was supposed, had been carried off 
by Rowton, with the knowledge of the Governor, and even 
of the queen 's sister. At all events, she had disappeared in 
a mysterious manner j and nothing could be learned from 
her brother, who was extremely intimate Avith the dissolute 
English gentleman. These facts were afterwards confirmed 
by Walter's father, who informed him that young Bladen had 
been led astray, and was gradually losing- his own self-respect, 
and the esteem of the good people about New Berne., "The 
fact is," said the philosophic old man, "if I was a painter I 
could make some moral pictur's out of th>i.t young man's his- 
tory. He had, by nature, a good heart, and he was edicated 
in correct principles— but he was taught some false notions. 
Like the other nobility, and big folks, he was taught to con- 
sider virtue as belongin' only to their class — he would be 
ashamed to tempt a lady, while he would think it no sin to 
make a fool of any poor girl thrown in his way. Utopia was 
thrown in his way ; he was kind and gentle to her, and this 
should be the first pictur' , headed, ' First Meeting of Humble 
Beauty and Gay Gentility.' Bat he thought Utopia had 
pot, or Ought not to have, any virtue, and sa be began to 



OLB DAN TUCKEE. 185 

to make hints to her, and to take little liberties with her 
when she was dependent on him, and obliged to visit him, 
and this should be headed in a paintin', ' The Tempter and 
the Tempted.' She resisted him, timidly and good-naturedly, 
and this made him take greater liberties ; then she got shy of 
him, and this set his passions to work and made him follow her 
up more plainly. This would be the pictur' of 'The Tempter's 
Progress.' But it was a progress to his own ruin ; Utopia only 
got better and better, and Bladen grew worse. He had taken 
several steps down, stepping down shyly, and cautiously, 
and looking anxiously back as his conscience checked him j 
then he got bolder and bolder, and his passion became 
stronger and stronger, until it is his equal ; and this I would 
make into a paintin', and call it ' Temptation Conquering.' 
After awhile passion will be the master of the unhappy youth ; 
and as Utopia rises, he will fall, and this will make the 
pictur' of ' Conquered at Last.' These are the notions of a 
foolish old man, who's been speculatin' about such things ; 
but I hope the affair won't turn out as I look for. He really 
loves Utopia, but it is love mixed -with passion — he has set 
his desires on her until they have made a half madman of 
him, and he has even offered to marry her, or promised to 
do it, Eowton saw his failings, and played on them — he 
has led him on by degrees, and although Bladen pretends' 
not to be a royalist, he is completely in the hands of this; 
dangerous Englishman. These facts I have picked up by 
keeping my ears and eyes open j do you the same, my boy,, 
but keep your tongue still." 



24 



^"86 ADVEUTUBES OF 




CHAPTEE XXZVI. 

FURTHER DEVJiLOPMEKT OF OHAEACTER. — PBOOKESS OF A UTOPIAN. — THE 
END OF A UTOPIAN DREAMEB. — CAPTURE OF WILD BltL. 

o the great surprise, but nqt regret of 
his father, "Walter Tucker bpgan to cul- 
tivate those ^rts, to he skilled in which, 
in those times, ■^as conside^-ed as a ne- 
cessary accornplishnient in every gentle.- 
nian. He had been shockesd — more 
fhpcked than he could have expected to 
be — by the strange surmises in regard to, Alicp, ^^iaden ; but 
tifie society of Utopia, and the recoUectiojig of Franl^ Hooper, 
occupied, for the pregent, his more tender feelings, vfhile his 
mind was absorbed by a new train of ambitious views. To 
tell the truth, he did not believe that Alice was lost, and so 
he wrote to Hooper — in fact, he was certain tha^ she was 
held in bondage at the palace, and pleased hinp^self with fond 
dreams of being some day her deliverer and benefactor-. 

Mons. Dufrong was forthwith installed into the double office 
of dancing-master and fencing-master; and with Coon he 
daily went out to practise with the rifle, while he also en- 
deavoured to make himself an accomplished horseman, 

Utopia he saw every day, and she was happy, and growing 
better and more beautiful; and young Bladen, whom he 
closely watched, was at that turning point, that last station 
between respectability aad dissipation. Rowton he could 
not see, nor could he hear from him, though it seemed 
that he still exerted a fatal influence over the Governor. 
This latter was now continually embroiling himself in dis- 
putes with the citizens of New Berne — his popularity was 
daily diminishing, and all over the country were heard the 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 187 

tiotes of pfr'eparatidli fof a conflict of arms. John Harvey, a 
hi^ly respectable and pa!triotic citizen,' a'hd otie of substati'ce' 
and' influencdj bad been ptiblicly abused by- his Excellencyj 
and' expelled from tihe priVy council on alccount of his liberal' 
Jirinciples afid conduct ; and this had fhrdwn' the people of 
ife*w Berne, and the surrounding C6untry, into a violent fer- 
inent. Secret 6rgteiiaci'tfns W6re fttrnled, and tests prescribed;' 
coiniliitt6es' were appointed, and thfe militia armed, and pre- 
pared fb* action. The pafeiotic aulhoritie^i at tMs' crisis, 
<l;ast their eiyes on \^alter Tiickei' j and after an examina;tion,' 
he was thought to be eminentljr Worthy <Jf an important trusty 
and one' which exAdilf suited his inclinations. He was, 
therefore, duly commissioned as captain of a company of 
mounted' rangers intended for secret and active service j but 
after aVf-^ek's labour he found himself at the head of Coon, 
his- first lieutenant, and' of Mons. Dufrong, his only private. 
With these, however, and attended by old Dan,- as a' sort of 
superillimerary, he' iScolir^d the country, and mad6 himself ex- 
tl'emely useful, by picking up information, and keepiilg the 
patriots aware of all' the movements Over the country. 

It wa^ While eii^ged in'the active discharge of these duties 
thati the jail at New Berne was broken opfen in' the night, and 
the prife'onei's released. It was late when the affair happened;' 
and so' noiselessly was it done, tJhiit the event Was not knd\i?n' 
nntil the' jailor paid- his'ttibrning visit to the prison, to his 
surjirifee and horror, he found his boarder's' gone; and in'the 
rodm oedUpied by Utopia' was a note With the words-^"3%«V 
is the haiid'of Wild BiU'; Tie sets Ms- name to' MS de^ds." 

The absence of^Utopia and' her my^tSribUs fate'left a gloottl 
in the city, where she had become known to eVSry one ; and 
the dreaded' flEtthe of "Wild Bill," leilt' an additioniil horror 
to the strange transaction; Criminations and recriminations 
took place- between the Governor and thd citizens, each char- 
ging the other with being privy to the miatter ; and the wholb 
country was alarmed with dreadful rumours of plots, and 
counterplots, of murders and insurrections. As for Walter 
Tucker, he had but one notion in regard to the matter— -he'saw' 
in the whole' aitfaiir the' hand, not of Wild Bill, but of EoWton 



188 ADVENTURES OF 

and Bladen, and of this opinion was his father. Lieutenant 
Coon, of course, believed with his captain; and Mons. 
Dufrong had too high a regard for Coon to differ with him 
in anything. An expedition was, therefore, immediately 
planned ; and in a few days the landlord of the Carolina Inn 
disappeared, and with him "Walter Tucker, his father, and 
his father's friend. He was thus engaged for at least a 
month ; and then turning his face southwards, he hastened 
towards the swamps of Tyrrel. He reproached himself for 
not having gone sooner to the rescue of Utopia ; but private 
interest had to give way to the exigencies of the public, and 
Walter considered himself as one of the trusted servants of the 
ktter. 

Walter Tucker left New Berne for the purpose of visiting 
the cottage of the Paladins of the swamp ; but being in- 
trusted by the patriots with a mission to the whigs of Hali- 
fax* and Bertie, he felt himself bound to discharge it. 

Never having been so high up before as the county of Ber- 
tie, the young soldier once or twice lost his reckoning ; and 
though his journey was not a long one, he was some time in 
accomplishing it. At length he passed the beautiful little 
sheet of water called Lake Phelps ; and as he was now near 
his destination, he halted to instruct his followers, and to wait 
for the shades of night, under cover of which he could best ex- 
ecute his plans. He was now on one of the little ridges of 
sand, or islands, common in the swamps ; a space of dry ground 
thinly covered with leaves and grass, and affording a re- 
sidence for the dwellers of the wilderness. The day was far 
advanced, and the evening coming on ; but there was a full 
moon rising in the clear east, and the tall trees were already 
beginning to display their elfin shadows in her rays. 

* Some of the most prominent and active Whigs resided in this region, and 
several Provincial Assemblies, &c., were held at Halifax, the Court House of 
Halifax county. This whole region of the " Boanoke" is a pleasant one. 
Koanoke, by the way, is generally supposed to be a Virginian name ; it is not, 
however, but belongs to North Carolina. The Dan and Staunton, which form this 
river, are streams of Virginia; but the old river with the euphonious name, is in 
North Carolina. The very name Cills up images pleasing and romantic ; and a 
Sojourner along the Boanoke will find his fancy has not deceived him. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 189 

Walter, thinking it advisable not to approach the cottage of 
Eowton until towards the middle of the nightj had a fire 
kindled, and prepared to make himself and his companions 
comfortable. He himself superintended the culinary depart- 
ment ; and as he did so, assisted by his father, lieutenant 
Coon and Mons. Dufrong were sent out to look for clear 
water. 

They had not been gone long, when the sonorous voice of 
old Zip rang loud and terrific through the woods ; and ia a 
minute afterwards the water party came tearing back in a 
state of great trepidation, the Virginian uttering an occa- 
sional yell as he ran, and the Frenchman clinging to the 
skirts of the former's coat, and mingling oaths and prayers in 
all the modern languages. 

" Another swamp devil ! " cried old Zip, in a deep bass, as 
he approached the fire. 

" Le Diable seconde ! Ze dam fantome swoompay !" ex- 
claimed Mons. Dufrong in a squeaking tenor. 

" Another Carolina witch ! " continued Zip in a higher key. 

"L 'esprit mauvais du Nord! Vitch du Caroline! Dieu 
me preserve ! " chimed in the Frenchman. 

"What, what, what ! " cried old Dan, losing all patience, 
"are you bewitched, or are you fooling ? " 

" I 'm bewitched ! " exclaimed Zip, " I 've seen a dreadful 
ghost, Walter, a real ghost, as high as one of these pines, and 
with eyes like a saucer ! " 

" You 've seen a rotten pine stump, a deer, or a cow," 
said Walter laughing, "but I '11 soon try its mettle. Which 
way was it ?" 

" I '11 show you," said Zip ; " come on and see if I 'm not 
right this time. Come on, Monseer, and friend Dan ; let 's 
all go together and stand by each other." 

And so they did go all together, and each with his 
weapons ; Walter a little in advance, with Zip holding his 
arm and old Dan pulling along the terrified Frenchman. 
"Look ! look !" cried Zip, halting and placing himself in the 
rear of Walter. 

" Look where ? " asked the latter. " Look there !" shouted 



190 ADVENTURES OF 

Zip, pointing oyer his shoulder towards the swamp — " look 
there ! ohi, dear, it moves ! " There was a slight crackle iii 
the brushwood, and the next instant, Walter 's hair rose on 
his head as a vision glided from a clump of trees and Stood 
Gonfrontiiag him. The whole company stood silent for a 
minute. Coon and the Frenchman shook violeMtly ; and a 
cold chill ran over even Walter, as he looked at the strange 
figure before him. It was that of a tall female difessed in 
flowing draipery of the purest white ; a veil of the saMe 
colour floated from the back of her head, over her shouldersy 
and her long, loose tresses glittered with gems. Garlands of 
wild flowers hung in festoons about her neck and waist ; and 
as she stood with her face to the moon, her features shone 
with a spectral whiteness, while the glare of her eyes,, and th& 
sparkle of the jewels in her dress, gave her the appearance of 
a female Argus. 

"Woman,, who are you?" cried old Tucker, ad vanciug to 
the head of his companions : " Will you not speak ? You 
need not think to fright an old hunter.," he continued, 
with all your ghostly paraphernalia. Tell me who you are, 
or I will shoot you." To all this, the apparition, returned 
only a^ silent stare ; and Dan, with a slight- trembling 
in his limbs, moved slowly forward. " In the name of truths 
who are you ?" asked Dan, again halting. There was no 
answer, and the fiddler advanced. still farther, creepingrather 
than walking, using his gun as a staff', and ever and anon 
stooping to gaze up into the face of the spectre. At last he 
stood close by the vision ; and as he again stooped to look 
into its face, it waved him back and spoke — " Who am I ?" 
cried the mysterious woman; am I' not the moon, the queen 
of the night, and the stars my maids of honour ? Where is 
he, my beloved, the sun that shall scatter the darkness from 
my soul ? He is gone^ — he is gone" — 'she continued- in a 
wilder tone — " he's a traitor — he's the foul fiend and a villain," 
she fairly screamed-; " you are one of his imps,. and shall follow 
him !" As she spoke a dagger gleamed in her jewelled hand,- 
and she darted at old Dan with the ferocity of a tigress. The 
old hunter was, however, on his guard, and seizing the hand 



OI,p DAN TXJCKEB. 191 

S9.is^d to stab him, a sharp scuffle ensued; and then his strange 
opponent falling on her knees as he stUl held her by the 
wrists, besought him in the most piteous manner to spare 
her life. Dan lifted her gently up ; but the moment she was 
on her feet she vtttered a wild shriek and darted into the 
siwamp. She was soon retaken ; and Walter, to his surprise 
and horrpr, recognised in her the beUe of Utopia, and mistress 
of Rowton ! During the intervals of her delirium her captorg 
learned that her love^r bad at last tired of her charnis, and 
that she, in one of her jealous njoods, had threatened to 
expose him by giving information of the manner in which 
old Kicketts had been slain. Of that dark deed of blood, 
Kowton, ^pcp^rding to her, was the author, aided by a band 
of pirates and outlaws; and he, fearing that she might execute 
her threat, had deterinined to put her to death. Knowing 
his designs, she had escaped into the swamps ; and for days 
and nights she had been hunted through them by the blood- 
hounds on her tirack. Her reason gave way, and in one of 
her paroxysms she had approached her lover's cottage and 
found only old Heatty at home, and she fast asleep. Array- 
ing herself in the dres? which she had worn at the carousals 
of Rpwton, when he was wont to call her the Queen of the 
night, and taking all the jewels in the house, she set fire to 
it, and left it in flames, the negress in it and still asleep. 

W^ter and his companions found that her words were 
true ; and they arrived just as the house fell into a heap of 
smouldering ruins, the unhappy woman who had once been 
its pride and glory screaming with delight as she beheld the 
funeral pyre of old Heatty, and wildly dancing round what 
she called this blazing den of the fiend. 

The, poor maniac beUe of Utopia was, intrusted to the care 
of old Tucker and the host of the Carolina Inn, who now 
started back to New Berne, intending to visit on the way 
Ijhe residence of old Dan, on Roanoke Island. It was thought 
tjhat with care and kind treatment the fair victim of love 
might easily be restored, to her reason ; and in that case, she 
was tp. he a witness for Tucker, and against his enemy Eow- 
ton. As for ^■\' alter and his lieutenant, they continued to 



192 ADVENTURES OP 

scour the country in search of Utopia, Polly Dawson knowing 
nothing of her; and in this vocation they were engaged for 
weets. In the course of their explorations they discovered 
the plan of an insurrection among the negroes in the counties 
along Tar River, and near the Virginia line ; and they were 
mainly instrumental in causing it to be nipped in the bud. 
This plot was of wide extension ; but its premature exposure 
and its immediate and total discomfiture was a grand blow 
for the Whigs, while it fatally weakened the course of Martin 
and his adherents. One important link in the chain of his 
intended operations was thus broken ; and the whole system 
now seemed likely to prove a failure. At least so he feared ; 
but the republicans were greatly alarmed, and the whole 
country was thoroughly aroused. 

It was during the excitement consequent upon this out- 
break, that as Walter and his faithful lieutenant rode into a 
small country village, they saw great crowds running to and 
fro, all in the highest state of agitation. As they neared the 
multitude, they could distinguish the name of " Wild Bill " 
often repeated, and in such a way as seemed to indicate that 
that noted personage had been taken at last. Walter 's heart 
misgave him ; but hastily dismounting, he rushed into the' 
throng, elbowing his way through it until he found himself 
near the spot whence the clamour proceeded. And there, 
sure enough, the young hunter instantly recognised the wild 
man whom he had met in the woods months before. He had 
been taken and identified, and was now on the way to his 
execution, to expiate by his death the many crimes of which 
he had been guilty. As he was led by the spot where 
Walter and Coon were standing, he recognised them, and 
turning unperceived to Walter, handed him a small parcel, 
saying, " Take that, it is the history of my life. Utopia," 
added he, in an under tone, heard by no one else, " Utopia is 
safe. In the midst of the Great Dismal Swamp is a lake. On- 
its banks you will find her." Walter would have questioned- 
the negro farther, but he could not. The crowd, with the cri- 
minal, hastened towards the place of execution, and that was 
the last the travellers ever saw of Wild Bill. 







WILD BILL. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 



193 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 



THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP AOT) ITS TENANT. — ^A VISION OP BEAUTY, ATD 
A CONFLICT. 




AViNG left the village, Walter and his 
lieutenant directed their steps northward. 
It was now in the hot month of Julyj 
'3|' when they had reached the woods they 
dismounted, and throwing themselves on 
the grass in the shade, they, or rather 
Walter, eagerly opened the manuscript of 
Bill the runaway. It was a long and 
tedious history, containing a minute account of the writer's 
adventures during his predatory life. From this manuscript, 
however, Walter learned to his surprise that the negro had 
belonged originally to the Tucker estate, and that havincr 
been sold while young to a master who had treated him 
harshly, he had subsequently run away. In the course of his 
wanderings, he found Mrs. Ricketts, then living with her 
second husband, Ike Harvey; and in this woman he recog- 
nised the long -lost sister of his former young master, Wal- 
ter's father. He made himself known to her, and hence the 
interest he ever after took in her and her child. 

Mrs. Ricketts had not become absolutely depraved; indeed 
she still conducted herself as a moral woman, though by her 
first fatal, false step, she lost her own self-respect, and was 
plunged into a career which kept sinking her lower and lower 
in the social scale. So far down in this respect had she fallen, 
and so much had poverty and trials humbled her pride, that 
for her second husband she espoused the good-natured, good- 
for-nothing Ike Harvey, the banker; and Ike, as is known, 
25 



194 ADVENTURES OF 

driven by his passion for drink, afterwards sold her to old 
Ricketts. Thus had her experience been a strange, eventful 
one; married first to an adventurer without a name, and 
dragged by him from place to place, and left in poverty and 
vi^ant by his death; then a banker's vrife, by him traded off 
like a chattel, then accused of the murder of the purchaser, 
imprisoned, forcibly rescued by a negro, and her second and 
kindest husband, and now living in the middle of an unknown 
swamp. Yet through all her chequered career, she had pre- 
served certain cardinal virtues; and above all, she never for- 
got how she had fallen, and endeavoured so to raise her child, 
that the latter might be worthy of claiming kindred with her 
mother's family. If Walter was shocked at finding himself 
the nephew of this wretched outcast and wanderer, he could 
not but admire her extreme delicacy in keeping from him and 
his father, and even from her own child, the secret of her 
birth; and he was, too, not altogether sorry to find a cousin 
in the gentle Utopia. Indeed, he was in a whirl of feeling, 
hardly knowing whether he preferred to love the fair, sweet 
child, of the desert as a cousin, or as something nearer; 
or whether, in fact, he loved her at all or not. Certain it is, 
he took a very great interest in her fate; and so, attended by 
Coon, he hurried off in the direction of Virginia. 

The Dismal Swamp, or as it is properly known, the Great 
Dismal Swamp, is even now a terra incognita; even as 
yet it is the domain of the wild-cat, the rattlesnake, and the 
panther. There is a canal and a road now running through 
it, linking the commerce of Virginia and Carolina ; and on 
this road, midway in the swamp, and just within the Carolina 
line, there is a tavern house. The keeper of this is now the 
sole civUized occupant of the Great Dismal Swamp ; but in 
former days there was not this road or canal, and nothing 
was known but by tradition and rumour of this dreary and 
obscure region. Then, too, above its thick masses of shrub- 
bery, vines, and briars, loomed a dark forest ol cypress and 
juniper; and bold was the adventurer who would undertake 
to explore its solitudes, where at noonday there was the gloom 
of midnight. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 195 

Lieutenant Coon was not fond of this kind of sport; and 
though he was now near the borders of his own state, and 
though the swamp was partly in it, he was not, for that rea- 
son, in a very pleasant state of feelings while at a house on 
the outskirts of the wildernesSj he prepared to follow his 
reckless captain on foot, through this obscure waste. The 
truth is, old Zip was superstitious, and it is said that during 
the whole of this perilous journey through the bog, especially 
while Crawling on his hands and knees, he was devoutly 
whispering his prayers ; though as a bamboo would rake his 
thighs, even through their buff covering, or a twig slap him 
in the face, he would often suddenly terminate his devotions 
with an expression anything but pious. To his immensie 
satisfaction, however, and after his clothes and his flesh had 
been torn in a hundred places, and after wading, and plash- 
ing, and crawliug through miles and miles of bog, he found 
his journey at an end ; and even he, bleeding and panting as 
he was, and rude as he was by nature, felt now a thrill of 
pleasure such as he had never before experienced; while 
Walter, fond of the varied face of nature, stood entranced in 
an ecstacy of delight. 

A circxdar sheet of water, of a shining black, and as smooth 
as glass, now lay placidly at their feet, and though six or 
seven miles in diameter, was so perfectly still that not even a 
ripple disturbed its surface ; and throughout the whole 
extent there was not a tree, a shrub, or rock, to mar its 
beauty. It was aliUost perfectly round, and was Walled in by 
the trunks of immense trees that stood in serried ranks upon 
its shores ; while the dark mirror of waters was fringed all 
round with a hedge of living green, hung with gay festoons 
of flowers of ten thousand hues. Birds of every size, and 
note, and colour, were flitting about, and filling the woods 
With the sweetest minstrelsy; and wild geese, ducks, and 
stately swans, were lazily floating on the lake. While Walter 
and his cottipanion stood still in silent admiration, they saw, 
far up the lake, a flock of white geese glide smoothly from 
the banks, in a direction towards them ; and close behind 
th'emj and apparently drawn by them, was a tiny canoe, with 



196 ADVENTURES OF 

a girl dressed in white. At the distance at which they stood, 
the whole seemed like a fairy yision ; the geese looked as 
small as sparrows, the boat appeared little larger than a shoe, 
while its occupant, with her broomstraw paddle, might have 
been taken for the Elfin tenant of some palace of shells 
beneath the waters. The two friends, doubting whether they 
saw Utopia, or a tiny spirit of the lake, taking an airing, 
scrambled towards the apparition as fast as they could. 

In a short time they were opposite and in hailing distance ; 
and then it was that they were able to distinguish the child 
of the desert, now, as it seemed to both, in her pure white 
dress and garlands of wild flowers, infinitely more beautiful 
than they had ever seen her before. She was startled a little 
when she first heard their shouts ; but quickly recognising 
the voice of Walter, and having her geese under excellent 
control, she neared the shore, and greeted with a smile that 
shone through their hearts, her old acquaintances. Indeed, 
the unexpected meeting lit up her countenance with an in- 
describable glow of pleasure ; and as she sailed slowly along, 
near the shore, she and Walter talked over the past and 
present with a feeling which neither had ever experienced 
before. Almost before he knew it, Walter had stumbled on 
her mother's cabin ; but Utopia, quickly leaping ashore, took 
him by the hand, saying, "Welcome, Walter, to the dove-cote 
— and you, too, Mr. Coon ; I welcome you both to our cot- 
tf.ge in the woods." 

" God Almighty bless you, my beautiful angel !" said old 
Zip, seizing her proffered left hand with both of his, and 
covering it with kisses ; " I could die ten thousand deaths for 
you ! aye, and wade through all the swamps in this accursed 
Carolina into the bargain !" 

Waiter was not long now in ascertaining from Mrs. Eicketts 
that she was then living with her second husband ; but as 
the mysterious death of old Eicketts had not yet been ex- 
plained, and she was still supposed to be in some way con- 
nected with it, he did not make known his knowledge of his 
Relationship to her. Nor did he tell her of the death of Wild 
Bill, knowing that it would be a cruel blow to her ; and 



M'&'.A *v. m. 







WALTER TUCKER ATTACKED BY THE PIRATES. 



OLD DAN TDCKEK. 197 

knowing, too, that she might not, perhaps, in years find it out. 
He had not been long seated, when Utopia brought out her 
scrap-book ; and Walter saw that she was still improving in 
her art, and had continued down to the present time the history 
of their acquaintance. " O ur adventure to- day will be capital," 
she said ; " and then, Mr. Coon, in his great bell-crowned hat, 
and all covered over with mud, will look so funny ! " 

" You may draw me as you will, my blessed little angel, 
draw me as you will, I'll be delighted to be in your company 
in any fix." 

Thus they spent the day in gathering wild flowers, and 
taking views of the lake ; Mrs. Ricketts in the meantime 
anxiously looking for the return of her husband from his 
hunting excursion. 

Walter, Utopia, and the Virginian wandered some distance 
from the dove-cote, when suddenly two pistols were fired at 
the same instant, one ball whizzing through the whiskers of 
Zip, and the other deeply grazing the left shoulder of Walter. 
The next instant two men sprang like tigers from the bushes ; 
but the one who assaulted Walter fell the next moment with 
a knife through his heart. To withdraw his weapon and give 
his foe another deadly stab was the work of a few seconds 
only ; and then turning to his friend, who was closely grap- 
pled with his antagonist, he endeavoured to assist him. The 
Virginian, though a brave and a powerful man, had found his 
match ; he was engaged in a contest for life with one not so 
tall, but stouter even than himself, his immense black whis- 
kers and his bushy head, giving him, to Walter, more the 
appearance of a wild bison than that of a man. Over bushes 
and briars they rolled, crackling the brushwood, tearing 
down even small trees and plashing in the water ; whirling so 
suddenly, and moving with such quick and rapid motions, 
that the young man could not strike or shoot, for fear of 
hitting his friend. Up, however, he rushed, dagger in hand, 
and as he did so, the hairy enemy seized him with his left 
hand, slamming him violently against Coon ; and then by an 
immense exertion of strength, lifted both in his arms and en- 
deavoured to fiing them into the pond. Zip went in, but 



198 ADVENTURES OF 

Walter caught upon a tree and seriously injured his armj and 
as the submerged Coon arose his enemy rushed at him with a 
pistol in each hand. In an instant the Virginian 's head would 
have been riddled ; but before his ferocious-looking foe could 
cock his pistols his own breast was pierced by a ball from 
Walter. He staggered sullenly towards a tree ; and as he 
fell against it. Coon with a club dashed out his brains. The 
survivors now proceeded to examine the dead ; and in the 
first they were surprised to find a well-dressed and genteel- 
looking stranger. It was impossible to bring him to ; he was 
already cold, though his countenance stiU wore the smooth 
placid look of life. Of the other also, they knew nothing, 
and were very curiously examining him, when Utopia, who 
had fled screaming to the house, now returned with her mo- 
ther and her mother ''s husband, Ike Harvey. This latter im- 
mediately recognised the unknown monster ; and it was with 
a thrill of horror they heard that they had been grappling 
in mortal combat with Dick Cruder, a notorious pirate, and 
the terror of the coast. Having stripped them of their papers 
and their valuables, they flung their bodies into the lake ; 
and as they did so, old Coon remarked, " Be thankful, there 
are two villains less ! Strange," continued he, turning to Wal- 
ter, " this Utopia makes a heaven wherever she goes ; and 
yet the devils will follow her ! " 

Erom letters found on Cruder, and which were ascertained 
to be those of Rowton, though not signed, it appeared that 
the pirate had been the participator of all his secrets, his 
most trusted agent in all his plans of iniquity. It appeared, 
too, that he was determined to play Bladen false ; that he 
had himself fixed his desire on Utopia, and had resolved 
that both she and Alice Blade« should in time make 
part of his harem. Through him Cruder had assisted, 
for what reason Ike and Wild Bill knew not, in the escape of 
Mrs. Ricketts ; he had, in fact, insinuated himself into Ike's 
confidence, and now he had come to murder him and his wife 
and assist in carrying ofi" Utopia. 

From these letters of Rowton Walter also learned important 
particulars in regard to the movements of the royalists j and 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. 199 

as he was too badly injured to travel immediately, he de- 
spatched Coon in haste to the Whigs on the Cape Fear. The 
old fiddler was exceedingly averse to such an undertaking, 
after his experience of the swamps of Carolina ; but visions 
of glory floated before his imagination, beckoning him on- 
ward, and so, after many instructions and a very affectionate 
embrace of Utopia, he took his leave. 

As he was impatient by nature, and anxious in the circum- 
stances of the times to be acting his part in the great drama 
going on, it may be supposed that Walter Tucker bore his 
confinement in the midst of the Great Dismal Swamp with 
but little serenity of temper. Indeed, everything considered, 
it would almost have been a miracle had he been satisfied with 
his position ; and yet never did a man bear confinement or the 
painful cause of it with more equanimity than was manifested 
by Walter Tucker while lying disabled at the dove-cote on Lake 
Drummond. Though unable to ramble far through the woods, 
he was not too feeble to accompany Utopia in excursions on 
the lake ; and it was during these that he often had occasion 
to admire the inexpressible sweetness and gentleness of her 
nature, the purity of her heart and the intelligence of her 
mind. Her heart threw its golden sunlight over all the 
objects of the material and moral world; and every beautiful 
sight and sound of nature touched in her breast a chord 
responsive. 

Did she love? She loved the harmony, that to her mind, 
pervaded all created things ; and the living embodiment of 
that harmony, the glory of the universe, was in her eyes the 
companion with whom she now wandered about the shores of 
Lake Drummond. Love was a part of her being ; she was a 
worshipper of that ideal beauty which, in the poet's imagina- 
tion, clothes all the objects of the earth, dwells in all hearts 
and breathes its spell in the changing seasons, the sun and 
moon and stars, the winds and waves the flowers of spring 
and the fading leaves of autumn. To make a barbarous pun, 
she was a Utopian, and kindred in soul with the Utopians who 
had lived before her; the fair universe with its spangled fir- 
mament seemed to her to be made for the abode of immortals. 



200 ABVENTURKS OP 

To eat, to drink, and sleep and die, seemed not to lier the 
chief business, the destiny of her race. She fancied that it 
was born for higher and nobler purposes. Her longings were 
eternal, for her passions were the passions of an eternal mind; 
and the food of that mind, its highest and its only happiness, 
was love, that love, boundless and immortal, which can spring 
only from an immortal source. In all her intercourse with 
"Walter there was a total forgetfulness of self, and a devotion 
to him that showed, or would have shown to an impartial 
observer, that she was not by nature made to be alone ; and 
even he, self-abasing as he was, and little as he thought of 
love in connexion with Utopia, began at last to wonder at 
her conduct. She lived, not in her self, but in him; and this 
was so natural to her, and so completely and for so long 
a time affected all her actions, that she absolutely became 
necessary to him. He did not reason on the matter, or think 
much about it — Utopia had become his other self, and he 
could not be a moment without her. 

The parting time came at last; and when it did come she 
had a thousand things to say to him that she had forgotten 
before. They talked over and over again every little incident 
connected with their intercourse; and then, with a hope of 
meeting soon, they parted. There was no silly weeping and 
sobbing on the part of Utopia; there were no idle speeches 
abput remembering each other, about sentiment, affection, and 
such like. There was a promise on his part to return soon ; 
on hers an undoubting faith in all he said, a wish expressed 
that he might safely return, and a simple "good-bye," 
which fell from her lips like the parting benediction of an 
angel. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 201 




CHAPTEE XXXVIII. 

HISTOEIOAL. — ^AK UKPDBH8HED LEAi' OF HISTOKY. 

ASTERN Carolina Tras in a state of in- 
tense excitement and alarm. Each of 
the antagonist parties had now thrown 
off all disguise; and the Demon of 
War stood, with torch in hand, ready 
to light the country in a blaze of ruin. 
The intrigues of Governor Martin, 
with numberless additions, were be- 
ginning to be brought to light; and 
those who knew most of these intrigues belicTed that they 
had succeeded in surrounding the infant cause of liberty 
with a force that could not be resisted. [Communication 
between different parts of the State was slow and difficult j 
and thus the patriots of different sections were left to 
rely on themselves, without the co-operation of their friends, 
and acting without reference to any general and con- 
certed plan of resistance. On the other hand the plans of 
the royalists were wide in their scope, and had been well 
matured ; and they hoped, by a combined attack, by one 
grand swoop to crush rebellion in the Caroluias and Georgia. 
Depots of British arms had been formed in Florida; and 
thence to the Virginia line the country was settled by 
tribes of Indians, all ia the pay of the British Government, 
and ready to clutch the tomahawk and scalping knife at a 
moment's warning. Great fears were apprehended of negro 
insurrections, especially after the discovery of the plot of 
which mention has been made ; some of the State forces had 
been marched towards Norfolk to head Lord Dunmore, who 
was making a demonstration on the north-east frontier ; and 
26 



202 ADVENTURES OP 

the Scotch about Cross-Creek were arming for the combat. 
These people, who lived in the southern portion of the State, 
were a brave and warlike race, from the Highlands of Scot- 
land ; and among them were chiefs and clans with whose 
renown in arms Scottish story and Scottish song have made 
the world familiar. They were the fierce men of CuUoden ; 
and among them were the McDonalds, the McLeods, and 
the Campbells. General Donald McDonald was their leader ; 
and unfurling the royal standard, the shrill sound of the 
pibroch echoed among the pines, and quickly drew together 
an eager and martial host. These, it was expected, would 
march upon Wilmington, while Sir Henry Clinton was hourly 
expected to ma,ke his appearance in the Cape Fear; and 
thus the patriots of that section, the most obnoxious to the 
British, had reason to regard themselves as in a perilous 
strait. The devoted band was, apparently, surrounded by a 
mighty cordon of enemies ; they were cut off from their 
neighbours in other provinces, and beyond the reach of aid 
from their friends in Carolina. With an unfaltering reso- 
lution, however, .they faced the danger before them; and 
taxing their energies to their utmost power, .they sternly 
prepared for a desperate conflict. Matrons and maidens, and 
children of tender years, caught the enthusiasm of the times ; 
and the letters written in those times, and private memoirs, as 
well as tradition, tell of deeds of heroism, and of hardships 
and privations voluntarily endured by the females, that 
endear the region of the Old Cape Tear to every gallant 
iieart. While every family was thus " setting its house in 
order," and preparing to fight as the Spanish Christians 
fought against the Moors, the first Continental regiment raised 
in the State, and under the command of the brave and skil- 
ful Colonel Moore, was marched to the west of the Cape 
Fear, to watch the movements of the Scots. It was not the 
policy of McDonald to encounter a fire in that region, de- 
siring first to strike a blow at Wilmington, and open a com- 
munication with the British; and so he eluded a meeting with 
Colonel Moore, and stealthily advanced towards the intended 
theatre of his first operations. 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. 203 

Col. Alexander Lillington, at the head of a regiment of 
militia, raised about Wilmington, hastily proposed to march 
towards McDonald; and while he was getting ready for the 
field, he received important intelligence. The messenger was 
no less a personage than Lieutenant Coon; a gentleman who 
grew ten years younger the instant that he heard Lillington 
give order for immediate preparation for the field. The Vir- 
gfinian's heart throbbed still more proudly when he found 
himself in a homely uniform with a few strips of tinsel on it; 
and as he drew the great cleaver by his side, he mentally 
resolved to baptize it in the first engagement, in the blood of 
at least twenty Englishmen, for the honour of old Virginny 
and of James' river. 

Military ardour is contagious ; and thus even the philosophic 
heart of old Dan Tucker was fired with the spirit of the times. 
He had carried the faded victim of Eowton to New Berne, 
and there, whUe she enjoyed a lucid interval, he had her 
deposition taken, intending, if she should die, to ask to use it 
in his defence. She, poor girl, for awhile improved under 
his attentions and those of their kind host, Mons. Dufrong; 
but while her mind seemed to recover from its fitful delirium 
her spirits drooped, and her health decayed. She became sad, 
taciturn, and fond of solitiide : and one night disappeared, 
and was seen, no more in New Berne. Old Dan, having 
this care ofi" his mind, resolved to become a hero ; and so he 
at once bestirred himself to raise a company. Col. Richard 
Caswell, who commanded the men of New Berne, pro- 
mised to receive the old fiddler and his men as volunteers ; 
and Dan, taking it on himself to commission his own lieu- 
tenants, conferred the first honour on his friend and admirer, 
Mons. Dufrong. The Carolina Inn was forthwith converted 
into a recruiting rendezvous ; and the " groceries " of the 
proprietor, as well as the fiddle of Dan, were freely used to 
attract the adventurous. The old philosopher of Eoanoke 
wore his starched dignity with an ill grace ; but his first lieu- 
tenant would, in that capacity, have done honour to any ser- 
vice. War is the Frenchman's pastime ; he takes to it 
naturally; and thus Mons. Dufrong was now in his proper 



204 ADVENTURES OF 

element. He was all enthusiasm ; lie could neither stand, 
nor -walk ; and his senior, Dan, was fifty times a day made 
painfully aware of his junior's skill in cutting, pushing, 
and thrusting. Captain Tucker had desired his second 
in command to initiate him into some of the mysteries of 
the sword exercise ; and after this, at the oddest times, 
day and night, he was constantly thrown into a fever of agi- 
tation by the everlasting prenez garde, and the glitter of the 
Frenchman's sword pointed at his throat. In time he learned 
how to cut down,'without hurting himself, an unresisting foej 
but the ranks of his company remained sadly thin. After a 
long effort, himself, his first and second lieutenants, and a fifer 
boy, constituted his whole command ; and to add ro his mortifi- 
cation, he heard that Caswell, in consequence of important in- 
formation, had suddenly taken up his line of march towards 
Wilmington. The cause of this movemaat was not generally 
known, though it was expected a battle would be foughtj and 
to miss that battle would have broken old Tucker's heart 
and have caused the Frenchman to commit instant suicide. 

They determined, therefore, to follow ; and preparing 
themselves for a long campaign they took the field. Small 
as was his command. Captain Tucker, as far as he knew 
them, observed all the rules of war: though he allowed 
himself the license of a fiddle, which was strapped on his 
back, and whose voice was every night heard in camp. This 
forlorn hope followed in the wake of Colonel Caswell j but 
BO rapid were that officer's movements, that Dan's usual 
luck attended him. He was often nearly in sight of the 
flying regiment; but each morning as he would pass its still 
burning camp fires, a sad voice would whisper in his ear, 
"You're always too late, Mr. Tucker." But this voice did 
not chill his courage nor restrain his ardour; and with cheer- 
ful energy he, like many a greater soldier, still pushed on 
his arduous march, even though the efforts of each day were 
crowned at night with the melancholy words, " too late. " 



OI,D DAN TUCKKK. 205 




CHAPTER XXXIX. 

BATTLE OP MOORE 's OKEEK.—BETRIBnTION.— DEATH OF ROWTON. — A GWMPSB 
OF HDMAN LIFE. 

ENEEAL McDonald, with an array of 
four thousand gallant Scots, was march- 
ing towards Wilmington, having crossed 
the Cape Fear, and eluded the vigilance 
of Moore, when he heard of an ohstruc- 
tion in his path. On the farther side of 
1/ a creek called Moore's Creek there lay 
■0 encamped, as his scouts told him, a 
handful of militia under Colonel Lil- 
lington; and the general, after a short council, resolved to 
surprise and cut to peices the daring patriots. He learned 
that Lillington had with him only five hundred men, but 
that Colonel Caswell was rapidly marching towards him with 
about five hundred more; and to prevent this junction, and 
to destroy the two regiments in detail, was the object of the 
Scotchman. He therefore marched suddenly and expedi- 
tiously towards Lillington, who came near being taken by 
surprise. His camp he had before fortified; and now the 
planks were taken from the bridge over the creek, the sleep- 
ers greased and fortified by a Ute-de-pont ; and then going 
familiarly among his men, the Colonel prepared them for a 
bloody and desperate struggle. "Victory or death," was to 
be the motto'; and on the iron heart of every soldier in the 
patriot camp was it engraven. Coolly and sternly tbey 
awaited the onset; while in the Scottish army not a soul 
doubted the result, unless it was the general himself, who 
who so ill that McLeod, the second in command, had to take 
his place. At break of day the Scotch, in beautifal array, 



206 ADVENTURES OP 

with shouts and martial clangour, were seen marching along 
the creek; but there was not a word nor a whisper heard 
among the men of Lillington. Suddenly a broad sheet of 
flame burst along the ranks of these, and the head of the 
Scottish column staggered backwards as many a gallant sol- 
dier feU from its ranks. Again they were rallied by McLeod, 
who, waving his sword over his head, actually crossed 
the bridge; but another and more deadly fire swept oS the 
entire head of the column, McLeod himself falling mortally 
wounded. In this second and destructive volley, the men of 
Caswell* joined; and as Campbell, the third in command 
among the Scots, formed their ranks, a third discharge 
killed him with nearly one -fourth of his remaihiiig^ men, 
Lillington now gave the word'to charge; the plattks werb in- 
sttotly thrown down, and the clash of swords and bayonets 
indicated the last 'deadly struggle. Everywhere the Scotch 
were beaten; but there was among them one whose gallant 
bearing attracted the attention of friend and foe. 

Cool, stern, and wary, he still refused to surrender, and 
with a few^ devoted followers hewed' his way from point to 
point in the patriot ranks; and after all hofe of victory had 
fled, and he was alone without a follower, he still opened a 
path before him, his sword dripping with blood and his uni- 
form cut to pieces. As he was thus slowly making his way' 
towards a body of stUl resolute Scots, he was suddenly con- 
fronted by a young officer, who hailed hitri'. 

" Who among these patriot dogs knows my name," said 
Chester Rowton, throwing back the clotted hair from his face. 

" I, the avenger of innocence," cried Walter Tucker; "and 
I thank God for this houri which I have so longed prayed 
for !" 

"I will end your troubles, vain boy," replied Rowton; as 

* There are different opinions in regard to the honour of the achievement at 
Moore's Creek ; some giving it to Caswell, some to Lillington, and others to 
both. The Carolinians generally give it to Lillington. This officer, by the rules 
of the service, was entitled to the command ; and it is even said by some autho- 
rities that Caswell arrived after the battle was nearly over. The current of au- 
thorities, however, represent him as having co-operated with his brother hero, 
Alexander Lillington. 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 207 

he took his guard apd coolly parried the strokes which Wal- 
ter furiously showered upon him. "You the avenger of 
innocence !" cried he with a scornful laugh, as he shivered 
Walter's sword ; " You the avenger of innocence ! I 'il send 
you to the other world before me," and his brandished sword 
glittered near the head of his defenceless antagonist. 

But here a third actor intervened. 

"I'm. the avenger," cried he, with wild and terrible energy, 
and as he spoke, plunged a dagger to the Englishman's heart; 
"I 'm the avenger," he continued, leaping intothe air and 
brandishing his dagger. " Ha, ha! the day of retribution has 
come at last ! Vengeance is sweet, sweet, oh how sweet!" and 
he again plunged the dagger to the heart of his dying victim. 

"He 's dead," said the youth, as the pallor of the last foe 
overspread the countenance of the Englishman : " he 's dead ! 
and he 's forgiven. Chester, Chester, my dear lord, take me 
with you !" and falling on his neck, the maniac youth and 
his victim expired together. Such was the end of Chester 
Eowton and of Polly Dawson, the beautiful, and until she 
saw him, the happy belle of Utopia. 

The struggle was over, and the whole Scotch army was 
killed or taken captive. Among the former were Mc 
Leod and Campbell, the second and third in coinmand; 
and among the latter General McDonald. 

This was one of the most decisive and important victories 
achieved during the revolution ; for with this ended the royal 
sway in North Carolina. The armament in the Cape Fear, 
with Sir Henry Clinton and Lord CornwaUis, soon left with- 
out doing any damage ; the Scotch settlements were broken 
up, the negroes kept in subjection, and the Indians beaten 
and overawed. The tories were everywhere intimidated, and 
the whigs made confident ; the governor was driven off in 
disgrace, and North Carolina was, from this day, a free and 
independent state. Such were the effects of the battle of 
Moore's Creek, fought by eleven or twelve hundred militia, 
in 1776, against four thousand Highland Scotchmen j and 
yet who out of North Carolina has heard of Moore's Creek, 
or of its heroes, LilUngton and Caswell ? 



808 ADVENTURES OF 

The brave, and great, and good, are born everywhere ; 
in some places they neglect them, in others they crucify and 
stone them, and in others heap rubbish on their heads and 
suffer them to starve. In some very few places these evi- 
dences of man's immortality are humanely treated by the 
natures they ennoble. Some may object to these reflections 
in such a place ; but who can recount the deeds of men, 
their eternal fights and feuds, without feeling disposed to 
moralize on the melancholy tale of blood and crime ? 

On the night after the engagement at Moore's Creek, 
Walter Tucker was introduced to Colonel Lillington by 
Richard Caswell. 

" To this young man I am greatly indebted," said Caswell; 
" and, indeed, the whole country owes him a debt. From 
him I got the information which caused my rapid movements 
in this direction ; and I have been surprised at his military 
tact and skill." 

" I am happy to make your acquaintance," answered Lil- 
lington, speaking to Walter; " I have heard of you before ; 
your visit to Rock Castle was, perhaps, one of the causes of 
my being here to-night. By the way, have you not a relation 
in the camp, a noted fiddler ?" 

" I have a father who plays on the violin," said Walter, 
colouring ; " but surely he cannot be here." 

" There is one here of the name of Tucker — my attention 
was called to him by a singular incident. I observed him 
coming up with some three or four followers, just at the 
termination of the engagement ; and so eager did they seem 
that one of them, a furious little Frenchman, flung the scab- 
bard of his sword away, as he ran over the bridge crying, 
" Begar, ve vil be in at de suppaire !" 

" This must be the old gentleman of New Berne who 
requested permission to join my regiment with a company, 
and whom I left diligently recruiting. They called him Old 
Dan — and I heard that he was a famous fiddler." 

" !rhat is my father," said Walter ; " I must endeavour to 
find him." 

" With your permission we will walk with you," spoke 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 209 

Lillington, " for I would be delighted to form the old gentle- 
man's acquaintance." 

" Certainly," answered Walter, though his heart misgave 
him that he would be covered with shame by the old plebeian's 
manners. 

They had not walked far before a merry group about a 
blazing log fire attracted their attention; and as they neared 
it they could plainly distinguish the sound of violins mingled 
with the shouts and laughter of the soldiers. The officers 
came up unperceived ; and, as they did so, "Walter's heart 
sank within him as he beheld his father bare-headed, on a 
camp stool, gazing upwards at the stars, his head squeezed 
down into his shoulders, and whirling himself round in his 
seat, while his bow moved as if it went by steam. Not far 
from him was old Coon, mounted astride of one of the logs 
on the fire, his hat pulled over his eyes, and his head flung 
forward, while he swayed himself to and fro, droning 
in tune with his violin, and occasionally uttering a wild 
yell, as if pierced with ecstasy by the sounds which he was 
evoking. 

The two friends, it seems, had met for the first time in many 
weeks ; and from a dispute about the relative merits of Cas- 
well and Lillington, had fallen into a more pleasant rivalry, 
and were now making a display of their musical skill, each 
playing a different tune, while Mons. Dufrong was endeavour- 
ing to dance to both. The crowd, hugely delighted, were 
divided in opinion ; and with " Old Virginny, Never Tire !" 
" Go it. Old Too Late !" and such like sentences, cheered on 
their respective friends. Walter Tucker, mortified beyond 
expression, instantly formed his determination; he bade 
Alice Bladen and aristocratic society a inental farewell for 
ever, and resolved, with Utopia, to bury himself from the 
world. Having thus determined to cast away his pride, and 
forego his cherished aspirations, he felt as if a burden had 
been taken off him ; though he could not refrain from an 
expression of regret at his father's unusual and unseemly 
conduct. 

" Tut, man, if I was a fiddler, I'd be playing myself," said 
27 



210 ADVENTURES OF 

Lillington ; " and won't we caper wildly when we get to 
Wilmington !" 

" My father seems strangely affected," continued Walter ; 
" he is not such a man as you would take him for, from this 
display." 

"No doubt of it, no doubt of it," replied Caswell; "any 
one would be justified in playing the child on this occasion." 

At this moment the officers were recognised ; and Dan, 
certainly influenced by a spirit stronger than that of mere 
enthusiasm, rushed to embrace his commander, when he dis- 
covered Walter. For a few minutes his manner changed as 
he greeted his son, tenderly, but not rudely or boisterously ; 
and then saying, " Never mind, Walter, never mind, boy, I 
shall not disgrace you," he gave himself up to the most 
extravagant demonstrations of joy. 

The young man, although remarkable for filial piety, could 
not but wish his father in New Berne, or on his Island of 
Roanoke ; but as for Dan, to use his own emphatic language, 
he did'nt " care a green persimmon for anybody or any- 
thing." Old Zip kept along with him in this race of folly ; 
and Mons. Dufrong, out of friendship for his former guests^ 
was particularly drunk all the time, and would have required 
at least half-a-dozen of interpreters to make himself under- 
stood. The senior Tucker looked on the war as now at an 
end ; the ken of the philosophic islander extended far into 
the future, and the vision of a pure democracy was already 
floating before his intoxicated fancy. In a day or two, how- 
ever, he and his friends. Coon and the Frenchman, left the 
camp ; and although Walter had now abandoned all hopes 
of aristocratic promotion, he could not but feel relieved by 
the absence of his plebeian relations. 



OLD UAM XUCKKU. 



2a 




CHAPTEE XL. 

WALTER JOUKNEVS TO WILMINGTON, AND R:!APS GOLDEN OPINIOHS BY THE VXt 
— SECOSS AHU LASV MEETING OP WALTtK AND EBAKK HOOPEB, — 
HISe'S KEVELATIONS. 

aME weeks after the battle of Moore's 
Creek, Walter Tucker, led by an irre- 
sistible feeling, found himself on the road 
to Wilmington. He had heard much 
of the hospitality of the citizens of that 
town and the surrounding country ; of 
the beauty and grace of the women, and 
the gallantry and generosity of the men. 
Indeed it was pictured to him as a sort of paradise, so ex^ 
travagant were the praises of those who had been there ; and 
he had a desire to test the truth of this description. Colonel 
Lillington and many others had given him cordial invitations 
to come to their houses and make them his home ; and 
above all, he had a passionate desire to see once more his 
young friend Hooper. He was aware that reports of his 
father's conduct would precede him; and he knew that 
these reports would be exaggerated, while his own air of 
gentle breeding would but make him a mark for the shafts 
of envy and malice. He expected to be talked about and 
stared at as a curiosity, but he determined to pocket his 
pride for awhile, knowing that his fate was fixed and that 
his season of mortification would be brief. He had become 
one of the most polished, and certainly the handsomest man 
in the country ; but fashionable life was now nothing to him, 
for the vain hopes of his youth had given place to more 
manly desires and more stern resolves. 

Everywhere ou the. road his manners and appearance 



212 ADVENTURES OF 

attracted attention and won respect, while he, attributing to 
the people what perhaps was in a measure due to his dress 
and bearing, began really to love the Cape Fear country. 
He thought he saw in the looks of every one something to 
admire; and when he arrived in Wilmington he was fully 
persuaded that there was no place like it in the world. He 
had, for his companion, Griffith John McKee,* a gallant 
and accomplished officer and hearty patriot ; and to this 
very intelligent young man he related his adventure with 
Hooper, and spoke of his desire to see him. In fact, he 
formed an attachment for McKee; and in the society of that 
genial gentleman, the frostwork about his heart was melted 
away, and he began to feel himself a man. From his friend 
he received a letter of introduction to Mr. Harnett, who 
lived just beyond the limits of the town, at his seat called 
Hilton; and Walter, sending out the letter of McE.ee, en- 
closed in it one for Hooper, desiring to know when and 
where he could see him. His young friend despatched an 
immediate answer, informing him that Mr. Harnett was not 
at home, but that he, Frank Hooper, would next day look 
for his quondam fellow traveller. 

The student had wound himself about the tenderest chords 
of Walter's nature ; and when he started to see him, it was 
with the feelings of one approaching the only object on earth 
dear to his heart. 

When, therefore, he met his adopted little brother, the 
fountains of his breast overflowed at his eyes, and seizing the 
youth in his arms, he embraced him fervently, and even 
kissed him. The student wept too, and trembled like an aspen, 
and when Walter released him and stood gazing affection- 
ately at him, he hung his head, while his tears still continued 
to flow. He seemed now less froward and pert than formerly 

* Griffith John McRee, was a distinguished patriot and brave officer of the 
RevoJntion. His son, the late Major McBee, of the United States Army, was a 
hero of tlie last war, and one of the most brilliant officers the country has pro» 
duced. His modesty was equal to his worth, and though offered the post, he 
firmly refused to be placed at the head of the engineer department, as this pro- 
motion would have been at the expense of his seniors in rank, 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 213 

his manner being mild, subdued and tender; but be was 
dressed exactly as he was when Walter first beheld him, and, 
as it seemed, in the very same clothes, although they seemed 
not the least soiled by use. They had much to tell each 
other— especially had Frank Hooper a great deal to say, for 
he had not often written. He informed Walter of the fate 
of the Lady Susannah and of Dr. Ribs — that the former 
had gone to Charlestown, and having there been discovered 
to be an arrant impostor, was exposed and disgraced.* Her 
admirer, the Doctor, had found means to escape and join 
her there — had shared her infamy, and been treated by the 
boys of Charleston to a coat of tar and feathers, and had had 
the honour of a ride on a rail over the city. She herself 
had intrigued for Rowton, having become desperately ena- 
moured of him : and he, it was thought, would have married 
her, in the belief that she was the sister of the Queen. But 
she was exposed before her plans had ripened, and forced to 
marry her suitor De Riboso, the ceremony having been 

* " In the course of the winter, a female adventurer passed through th^ pro- 
vince, and attracted great notice. She had assumed the name of I^adj Susannah 
parollna Matilda, sister of the Queen of Great Britain, and bad travelled through 
.the province of Ylrginia, from one gentleman's house to another, under these 
pretensions. She made astonishing impressions in many places, affecting the 
manners of royalty so inimitably, that many had the honour of kisangherhand. 
To some she promised governments, to others regiments, or promotions of differ- 
ent kinds in the Treasury, Army, and Navy; in short she acted her part so 
adroitly, as to levy heavy contributions on some persons of the big best rank. She 
received the marked attention Of Governor Martin and his lady whilst in New 
Berne, and proceeded thence to Wilmington, where she was also received with 
great marks of distinction. At last, after remaining some days in Charleston, 
she was detected and apprehended. Her real name was Sarah Wilson; having 
been taken into the service of one of the maids of bonoiir to the Queen, she 
found access to one of the royal apartments, and breaking open a cabinet, rifled 
it of many valuable jewels, for which she was apprehendedi tried, and condemned 
to die ; but through the interposition of her mistress, her sentence was softened 
to that of transportation. She had accordingly been landed, in the preceding 
fall, in Maryland, where she was purchased by » Mr. W. Duval, of Bush Creek, 
Frederick County. After a short residence there, she effected her escape into 
Virginia, and when at a prudent distance assumed the name and character of 
the Queen's sister, having brought with her from England clothes that served 
to favor the deception, and a part of the jewels, together with her majesty's 
picture, which had proved so fatal to her." — Martin's Hist, N. C. vol. ii, pp. 
292, 293. 



214 ADVENTURES OP 

performed while he was wearing his suit of tar and feathers. 
This was a bitter dose to the fair figurante, for she was 
really sprightly, intelligent, and beautiful; but the boys 
were inexorable ; and in fact she made a light escape, con- 
sidering her many daring crimes and follies. And thus 
she and the beau of Utopia were married j and in a cart, 
to the music of the Rogue's March, and of a great variety 
of pans and kettles, were marched out of town and started on. 
a bridal tour. 

"And by the way," continued Frank, "I lately saw 
Alice Bladen, aud she spoke of you. " 

"Of me?" said Walter, reddening; "I suppose she made 
herself merry at the expense of her rustic lover." 

" Indeed, she did not," replied Frank ; " she spoke of 
you in the kindest manner, and would like to see you. She 
has heard often of you, and always something good and 
honourable; and I believe she thinks a great deal of you. 
She is not far from here, and if you say so, you and I will 
call on her to-morrow." 

" To-morrow I shall be engaged," said Walter ; " I am 
then to be introduced to the Republican Club of Cape Fear. 
My friend Major McRee has already made application for 
me, and so indeed has Colonel Lillington ; and to-morrow 
I am to be initiated and made one of the Cape Fear bro* 
therhood." 

" It is a great honour," answered Frank, " and I con- 
gratulate you on it. It is composed of the best men in all the 
country ; and your initiation will at once introduce you 
into the society and adections of our people." 

" I care little for these things now," said Walter ; " Frank, 
I have changed my whole plan of life. 1 have given over 
all my youthful aspirations. I have now higher and greater 
aims. I am lowly born and lowly connected — " 

'* Nonsense !" cried Frank ; " you have already taken 
your stand. You know you told me you intended to do 
like the hero in the play at New Berne — to perform three 
great achievements, and then — " 

" Yes, but play heroes are but poor models," interrupted 



Ol.n DAN TUCKER. 215 

Walter. " It is folly to try to do in real life as they do in 
plays ; adventures are made on purpose for them, while no 
such opportunities for distinction are offered to us." 

"Yes, hut you have done three, yes, four great things," re- 
plied Frank : " You put yourself to a great deal of trouble to 
befriend a lost and orphan boy, and to do so had to neglect 
an opportunity of taking revenge on an enemy ; you saved 
the life of Utopia, and you have been of great service to the 
country. Besides this, Alice Bladen often speaks of the 
service you did her on the beach; and I'm sure she will no 
longer laugh at the name of Tucker." 

" She shall not have a chance in my presence," said 
Walter, proudly ; " Frank, you must not talk to me of • that 
haughty woman; my resolution is fixed, and it will be best 
to carry it out. I will marry Utopia." 

"What! your cousin?" cried Frank, in surprise; "1 know 
she is worthy of you — she ''s an angel," continued he, with a 
tremulous voice. 

" Perhaps you love her," said Walter, smiling ; " if so, 
you shall have my claims if she will love you, and I '11 go 
back to Roanoke Island." 

" Perhaps. — you might break my heart by marrying her," 
replied Frank, much confused; '"and if — if Alice really 
loves you, could you not forgive her?" 

"She does not love me," said Walter; "she may pretend 
so, but she' 11 only love ray fame, when I become famous." 

" She will, she does love you," cried Frank; " you, Wal- 
ter Tucker, and she has loved you from the beginning. I 
know it — that is, I Ve seen it in a thousand ways, and if you 
wUl go with me, your own eyes shall tell you so. Mercy ! 
who are all these coming up the avenue ?" 

" Do not be alarmed," said Walter, seizing the student 
as he was about to run; "see, there are several of my ac- 
quaintances among them. But what has brought such a 
crowd? and see, what a strange figure hobbles in their midst! 

Notwithstanding the assurances of Walter, Frank Hooper 
still trembled violently as Cornelius Harnett, followed by a 
number of gentlemen, led into his house the apparition 



216 ADVENTURES OF 

alluded to. It was a gaunt figure, stooped with age, its 
limbs clad in ragged garments, formed of patches of paper, a 
close-fitting mask giving it the appearance of having a head 
perfectly bald; while a solitary lock of long white hair fell from 
the forehead, and mingled with the snowy beard that streamed 
over its breast. It was painted aU over with emblems of decay ; 
the wrecks of ships, falling houses, broken columns, hleaching 
bones and grinning skeletons. In its right-hand it held a staff, 
and in the left the hand of a girl closely veiled, shrouded in 
white, with a wreath of evergreens and amaranth upon her 
head ; and having taken its stand in the middle of the room, with 
Col. Lillington and Major McRee on opposite sides, it spoke as 
follows : 

" I am Time, listen to my story: You have aU heard how 
that the first white Colony settled in North Carolina was 
planted on that green gem of Albemarle Sound, Roanoke 
Island. It was sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh, the pride and 
glory of England, and it was brought by his relation. Sir Rich- 
ard GrenviUe. You have also heard that that white colony 
vanished as the snows vanish from the vallies in spring; 
and when the English came back again there was not a soul 
found to tell the story of their friends. But I saw what 
had happened — I knew it all, and now I will reveal it. All 
perished but one, and that one was a natural son of Sir Wal- 
ter Raleigh, and a brave and sprightly lad. Manteo, the 
great chief of the Roanokes, took a liking to him — he gave 
him his daughter, and the lad afterwards became a chief. 
His father-in-law, for his goodness and greatness, was called 
by the English Lord of Roanoke, and this title descended 
to the son of Raleigh and to his descendants. One of the 
last of these, a poor man, but a proud and worthy one, one 
Walter Roanoke, a man nearly white, one day sent for his 
neighbour. 'I am dying,' said Roanoke, — 'I will soon join 
my wife in heaven. This child is the only pledge of our 
love — to him I can leave nothing but my name. But a 
proud name ill becomes an unworthy man; therefore, let the 
boy not assume my name until he is worthy of it." And so 
died the descendant of Manteo ; and his friend and rival 



OLD DAN TUCKEK. 217 

©ncCj took his Bon, adopted him, and raised him to man's 
estate. He has proved himself worthy of his name — there he 
stands, Waiter Roanoke, the descendant of Sir "Walter 
Raleigh, and of Manteo, the Lord of Roanoke! Be still, 
and hear me out — I am Time — Time unveils aU secrets, and 
behold -what I shall now do. Frank Hooper," continued 
he, seizing the cap from the head of the student, " Frank 
Hooper, these curls are Alice Bladen's!" 

The abashed lady, with loosened hair falling over her face 
and shoulders, stood trembling and blushing in the hand of 
Time, as he proceeded : 

" You may be calfed Time's fairest daughter; but you have 
a sister who is not the daughter of Time — a meek-eyed maiden 
of whom poets have dreamed and philosophers written — 
behold Utopia ! " As he spoke he unveiled his companion, 
and the room was lighted by the radiant face of the nameless 
child of the Desert. 

"And this," said Major McRee, taking hold of the palsied 
figure of Time — " this ladies, and gentlemen, is our distin- 
guished friend, the famous Daniel Tucker, from the sound of 
whose violin this vision of love and purity is born." 

Let the curtain drop upon the tableau. 



CHAPTEE XLI. 



THE TEMPTEK AND THE TEMPTED PAST COMPAirr. — OTHEE CHARACTERS RETIRE 
FROM THE SCENE. — ^WHERE IS UTOPIA? 

TOPiA filled Wilmington with amaze- 
ment. She met all as if she had known 
them all her life, and all met her as if 
she were the guest of all mankind. The 
children followed her, and ciied when 
she left them — the old stopped to hold 
her by the hand, and give her their 
blessing, while they gazed in her meek 
hazel eyes, that blessed them in return 

— and the young of both sexes called her sister, and spoke 

kindly and gently to her. 
28 




218 ADVENTURES OF 

In her scrap-book -was imaged forth the aaventures ot her 
life — and the last picture in it was the face of Walter. 

She, and her mother, and Ike Harvey, had been brought 
to Wilmington by old Tucker, Coon, and Mens. Dufrong; 
and the citizens of that place bbught and fitted up for her a 
beautiful cottage, below the town, and near the Cape Fear 
River. Here her mother was to spend the evening of her days 
in comfort — and hither on a pleasant summer afternoon she 
was brought by Alice Bladen, Walter Tucker, and a host of 
ladies and gentlemen of the town and country. 

The young people were in a gay humour, and amused 
themselves in various ways ; some in gathering flowers, some 
in fishing, and others in lounging and gossiping in the 
shade. 

Alice and Utopia were alone in the cottage of the latter, 
each looking more beautiful than ever, and each dressed in 
simple habits of spotless white. 

" I have a secret te tell you," said the former, " though no 
doubt you have heard of it before now. Our wedding is to 
take place next Wednesday " 

" Whose wedding?" asked Utopia, gazing seriously in the 
eyes of Alice. 

"Why mine, child — mine and Walter's — ^had 'nt you 
heard of it ? " 

"Do you mean Walter Tucker ? " inquired Utopia. 

" Walter Tucker that was," said Alice, laughing. 

" We have agreed to have it next Wednesday, and I am 
now making preparations. The party will be a small one ; 
but you will be there, and I wish you, my dear, sweet friend, 
to act as my first bride's-maid. Will that dress suit you? 
indeed, you look beautiful in it — but, perhaps, we had better 
get a new one for the occasion. Let me see now, a satin one 
with — do you hear me, child ? " 

"What did you say about Walter?" asked Utopia, ab- 
stractedly. 

"Oh, dear," exclaimed Alice, "must I tell it all over again.. 
Come, lay down your scrap-book, and listen to me." 

As Alice spoke, Utopia came to her, felt her hands am' 



OliD DAN TUCKKR. 219 

arms, kissed her, and handing her the scrap-book, told her to 
give it to "Walter. 

She then passed out of the door ; and Alice, rather sur- 
prised at her manner, but thinking she would soon return, sat 
waiting in silence for an explanation. At last she became 
vexed at Utopia's delay, and went out to look for her ; she 
inquired for her eagerly of those in the woods, and finally 
became uneasy. Her fears were contagious ; a number of per- 
sons started ofi'in'search of the girl, but she was not to be found. 

Her friends were forced to the conclusion, that she was lost 
or drowned J and while they were consulting in anxious 
groups, they were startled by a wild cry in the woods. It 
came from Robert Bladen, who was one of the party, though 
now a complete wreck ; and as the company turned towards 
him, they were horrified at his appearance. Wild with deli- 
rium, he came brandishing a bloody dagger in his reeking 
hand ; and throwing up his arms, cried as he ran, "See there! 
see, there she is! Oh, for mercy's sake, hide her face!" 

"Where is she, where is Utopia ? " asked Walter Roanoke, 
seizing the maniac youth j /'madman, what have you done?" 

"I could not bear her sight," replied Bladen; "her face 
was every day looking in my soul, and I could not shut it 
out. I could not bear to hear her voice. 1 could not bear 
to see her smile " 

"Where is she^?" again asked Walter, sternly. 

" I found her under an old oak," answered Bladen — " She 
was kneeling and looking up to heaven — she smiled on me as 
I took hold of her." 

" But where is she ? what did you do to her ?" asked the 
crowd. 

" I tried to kiU her," cried the madman — " I tried to hide 
her — ^but when I looked up, she was in heaven gazing at me. 
Look there !" he continued, in a wild frenzy, pointing up- 
wards — "There she is! there, there, still smiling at me! Oh for 
God's sake, hide her face ! " So saying, he tore himself loose 
from Walter, and ran to a clifi" on the river, and again point- 
ing up, and shouting " There ! there she is ! " he uttered a 
. fearful scream, plunged into the water, and was drowned. 



220 ADVENTURES OF 

As for Utopia, she was seen no more on earth.. 

The loss of his niece was a blow from which the fiddler of 
Boanoke Island never recovered. Jealous as he was of his 
honour, he insisted on having his trial for the murder of 
old Eicketts at New Berne ; and there he and Mrs. Ricketts, 
or rather Mrs. Harvey, brother and sister, were formally 
tried and triumphantly acquitted. Then the old man could 
amuse himself awhile, in locating his sister near his own 
home, and in reforming Ike Harvey from his vagabond pro- 
pensities, and in assisting his adopted son, Walter Roanoke, 
in the construction of a handsome summer residence on the 
island. Here Walter, universally esteemed, and his no less 
popular andhappy wife, were wont to spend much of their time; 
and at^ their house, old Dan and his friend Coon would 
sometimes awaken the "memory of the days of other years," 
in strains never to be forgotten by those who heard them. 
Still the old man was no longer what he had been; life had 
lost its savour, and he fled, accompanied by his faithful 
friend Coon, to the excitements of the camp, to escape from 
the recollections of the past. Throughout the whole war of 
the revolution he served, not continuously, but at different 
times; and it is no exaggeration to say, that his violin and that 
of Coon did the State some^service. When the war was over, 
Dan pined gradually away, fading even like the notes of his 
own violin, till at last, in the arms of Coon, and surrounded 
by Walter, his wife and their little ones, he quietly gave up 
his troubled spirit. By the remains of the Old Fort, in the 
deep woods, he was buried; and there, suspended from a tree 
over his head, and protected from the weather, was hung the 
violin that had been his companion and faithful friend 
through life. It was said, that in the stillness of a summer ''s 
night, an unseen hand woidd touch the strings of that violin, 
and then strains that seemed to be wafted from a spirit land, 
would breathe their spell over the enchanted island, dis- 
coursing a sad sweet requiem to the soul of the departed 
fiddler. Such was the universal belief through the country ; 
but perhaps it may be accounted for by the fact that old Zip 
would often steal to the grave of his friend, and there spend 



OLD DAN TUCKER. 231 

the live-long night in playing melancholy airs. For years 
after this, he was stiU known in the country, for he travelled 
about from place to place : but at last he also passed away, 
and now he and his lamented friend live only in the traditions 
of the common people, and in those immortal airs to which 
they bequeathed their names. 

Like a sweet tune, a fragile flower, a transient halo, a 
beam of heavenly light at the dusky hour of eve, Utopia 
passed away, leaving no trace or memorial behind her. The 
world saw her and felt her presence for a moment; and 
then she was gone, and the memory of her was like a 
pleasant dream in the sinless days of youth. She had 
been, and she had shone in the hearts of her contemporaries j 
and yet when she was gone she seemed not to have been as a 
reality, and the recollection of her was like those strange re- 
collections of worlds, and things, and people, that ' we have 
never seen, which sometimes flit across the mind. 

The author, who had himself once regarded the beautiful 
places of this world as shrines of immortals— who had been, 
in other words, a day-dreamer — was deeply interested in 
what he heard of the traditions concerning the nameless 
chUd of the Desert, and he followed her footsteps from the 
wild sands of the beach to New Berne; from New Berne to 
the fairy Lake Drummond, and from thence to the Old Cape 
Fear, rich in legendary lore. 

On a pleasant afternoon, the author and a friend took a 
stroll along the bank of this noble river ; and we had not 
gone far before we came to a wilderness of vines, brush- 
Wood^ and reeds, all growing "in a wild state of nature.^' 
These, as far as we could see, skirted a small grove of live oaks ; 
and with the branches of these oaks, they formed an enclo- 
sure or palisade, which we found some difficulty iu entering. 
*rhe moment we did enter, however, a sttange sensation, a feel- 
ing of indescribable awe, of sadness and veneration, crept upon 
me; I found myself in one of those spots which nature her- 
self seems to have consecrated for her most holy rites. 
There was not a shrub^ nor a blade of grass within that 
sacred temple; there the garish beams of the sun never pe- 



g22 ADVENTURES OF 

netrate, but even at noon-day a deep and solemn twiliglit 
reigns. The oaks, whose multitudinous branches formed a 
thick canopy above us, looked as if they had witnessed the 
flight of centuries ; and from their limbs and trunks there 
streamed hoary and luxuriant flakes of moss, sweeping 
almost to the ground, and looking like elfin locks whitened by 
the frosts of a thousand years. 

Within this Druid temple there are old brick vaults, 
without a name, and without a date; and here, nature herself 
seems to have formed a cemetery for her favorite child 
— here, beneath one of these vaults, anil close by the 
banks of the old Cape Fear, are supposed to repose the 
ashes of Utopia. The scene and the recollections which 
it awakened threw me into a meditative mood — and 
seating myself on one of the vaults, and looking out on the 
broad but lonely expanse of waters before me, I remained 
listening to the subdued murmur of the distant ocean, not 
knowing that the Doctor had left me. Thus I remained 
conjuring up a thousand fancies — aye, and remembering a 
thousand hopes of youth that had faded. "Where, where," I 
thought, "is Utopia? Where is that pleasant land, and those 
good people of which I dreamed so much before I was 
wise ? Is life but a vapour that exhaleth for a moment and 
perisheth for ever ? And are all the hopes of life, and all 
its pleasures and pursuits but 'vanity and vexation of spirit?' 
Is Utopia to be found only in the grave ? Vanitas Vani- 
tatum, 'vanity of vanities, all is vanity, saith the preacher.' 
There is no hope here — and hereafter ;" as I thus re- 
flected, the shades of evening were insensibly gathering 
round me, and far, far in the hazy horizon of the east, an 
exceedingly small star twinkled tenderly in the blue expanse 
" There was the smile of Utopia j" — a something whispered 
to me — " Beyond the shores of time — beyond the ocean of 
space — away, away in those bright worlds beyond, you will 
find Utopia." 



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